What happens if I fail or refuse an alcohol test in Maryland?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving in Maryland, you may wonder what would happen if you refuse to take an alcohol test like a Breathalyzer or if you take the test and you fail. There are several things that will happen in either of these situations.

Upon a refusal, your driver’s license will be confiscated by the police officer. You will be issued a piece of paper that will serve as your temporary driver’s license. You may also receive a copy of Officer’s Certification and Order of Suspension. This will give details about the incident, your pending license suspension and whether you submitted to an alcohol test. Another form you may be given is the Advice of Rights form. This will detail how to request an administrative hearing. Both you and the officer will sign the form after you indicate if you took the alcohol test. If you took the test and did not pass, you may be given either of the above forms as well.

Here are some of the license suspension periods that are based on whether you refused the alcohol test or you took it and failed.

— Took test and failed with a blood alcohol content of .08 to .14: If it is your first offense, then your license will be suspended for 45 days. Your second offense will result in a 90-day suspension.

— Took test and failed with BAC of .15 or more: If it is your first offense, your license will be suspended for 90 days. Your second offense will result in a 180-day suspension.

— If you refused to take the alcohol test, and it is your first offense, your license will be suspended for 120 days. For your second offense, your license is suspended for a year.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise whether you should request a hearing to show cause as to why license should not be suspended.

Source: Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, “Alcohol Test Failure or Refusal” Jan. 05, 2015