Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

Law Offices

Ignition Interlock and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration

Some months ago my client accepted the ignition interlock alcohol detection device as an alternative to out right suspension of his driving license. He had an old car in not particularly good condition and other problems.

Ignition interlock is a device you put on to your car which requires you to submit a breath sample prior to starting the car and often will ask for a test while the car is running. When you accept ignition interlock you further accept a substantial list of rules which you must follow or you will be found in violation. In the state of Maryland, if you have more than one violation per month over at least four months you will be terminated from the program. My understanding is that if you have several violations in one month that will only count as one violation in that month. The point is, even one violation per month for more than three months will terminate you and your license will be suspended.

In my case my client was alleged to have committed the following violations:

Power disconnect
breath test in excess of .02 blood alcohol content
rolling test refusal

The motor vehicle administration claimed that he had four months where he had violations and they were attempting to suspend his license for six months.

We went to the hearing armed with facts to challenge some of those allegations.

At the motor vehicle administration we were able to refute the rolling test refusal claim. A rolling test refusal is when you are driving along and the ignition interlock alerts you that you need to provide a breath sample. He had three such violations. They give you the date and the time of the violation.

On one of violations we were able to establish that it was a single violation and my client had the radio on so loud he could not hear the ignition interlock requesting that he provide a sample. We argued that there was only one such request and he just could not hear it.

On the second rolling test refusal we were able to establish through auto shop records that the client's car was in the auto shop at the time of the rolling test refusal. We had an invoice from the repair shop stating the date and the time that the car was with them.

On the third rolling test refusal we were able to establish that the client had locked himself out of the car and had summoned AAA. We had a letter from AAA indicating the date and time that they were providing the service.

As to the power disconnect we had evidence from a car mechanic which stated that a low battery and a bad battery connection can interfere with proper functioning of the ignition interlock.

We were not able to refute the breath test findings.

Nonetheless, because the motor vehicle administration was not able to prove more than three allegations the judge found in our favor and declined to suspend my clients license.

If you are having trouble with the ignition interlock and the motor vehicle administration wants to suspend your license, contact me and I'll be happy to help you.
See More Posts...