Administrative Hearings Per Se and MVA Penalties
There are two types of offenses that come from one DUI stop and arrest they are the administrative penalties and the DUI penalties. There is a DUI per se charge which results from a BAC of .08 or higher. That will be discussed in more detail in a subsequent resource article however suffice it to say the mere fact that a defendant blows a breath alcohol content of .08 or higher makes them substantially guilty of the charge of DUI or driving while impaired merely because they provided a BAC above the legal limit. In the simplest of terms the mere fact that somebody provided a BAC of .08 or higher is essentially all the government needs to prove aside from a lawful stop of the automobile and the proper advisement of the rights.
The MVA administrative charge that goes hand in hand with a .08 or higher is articulated in Transportation article 16 – 205.1. This statutory section is very lengthy and convoluted but essentially forms the basis for the DR 15 rights which must be read to a DUI defendant prior to asking them to provide a breath sample. It says that if the defendant gives a breath sample which results in a BAC of .08 through .14 that driver is subject to a 45 day license suspension for a first offense. A second offense in that range will subject the driver to a 90 day suspension of their drivers license. These suspensions are potentially modifiable for work and education purposes upon the timely request of an MVA hearing and the payment of a $150 filing fee.
If a defendant driver provides a breath sample of .15 or higher first offense, they are subject to a 90 day suspension of their drivers license for a first offense or 180 days for a second offense. Because this is considered a higher number there is no modification for work purposes as there is in the prior example, however a driver can agree to install an interlock device in their car for one year and if they do that there will be no period of suspension. interestingly the driver can put the interlock in their car and obtain a new drivers license with the interlock restriction on it without ever having to request or attend a hearing. However if this driver needs to drive work vehicles without an interlock installed, then a hearing will be necessary in order to get that particular modification for a work vehicle and an interlock for personal vehicle.
If a driver elects to place the interlock in their automobile that must be done and a new drivers license must be obtained all within 30 days of the initial arrest or that driver will in fact suffered a period of suspension. By the same token if a driver opts for an MVA hearing because they blew a lower number and the judge allows them to get a work modified license, that driver must proceed to a full service MVA in order to secure said license for whatever period of time they are modified. At the end of the modification time. They must return to the MVA to acquire a new nonrestricted license because as long as they are in possession of the restricted/modified license they are actually subject to that limitation despite the fact that they do not need to possess that license any longer.