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First DUI offense. How can I avoid having to install an ignition interlock device?

Salisbury, MD |

I got charged with a DUI (first time ever in trouble with the law). I refused the breathalyzer. The MVA requires participation in the interlock program upon refusal of a chemical test or if you blow a 0.15. I was no where near 0.15 (much less a 0.08). I regret not blowing. I'm commuting to graduate school in the fall and will be using the family car. I don't own or co-own the vehicle, and my parents use it often. They don't want this IID installed in their car but realize I still need to drive to school. I'm currently halfway through an alcohol education course. Additionally, I just took out a large loan for school and can't really fit this IID into my budget. Is there any way to get a restricted license without participating in this interlock program? I've already requested a hearing date

I refused the breathalyzer because: a) I had heard that was the best thing to do even if you had only one drink earlier in the night. (I now know this is bad advice.) b) I've heard of plenty of false readings from breathalyzers. c) I was unaware of Maryland's laws. I didn't want to risk blowing even a 0.01 for fear that could have landed me a DWI. (I had three beers earlier in the night, and it had been a couple of hours since my last when I was pulled over. My driving was not impaired. I got pulled over for a tag light being out.)

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Attorney answers 1


ALthough I have prevailed at refusal hearings, but they are difficult to win. As you recognize, if the judge finds you are "subject to sanction" at the MVA hearing the only decoration the judge has is one year on the interlock or a 120 hard suspension. The judge does not have discretion to modify that hard suspension except by the interlock. If you have not already, you should promptly consult with a qualified attorney. An option although not an was one is to start the 120 suspension early. Be advised that while rare a judge at the trial has the discretion to order the interlock if he/she finds you guilty.