Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

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Do Not Miss Your Motor Vehicle Administration Per Se Hearing

My client recently requested a motor vehicle administration hearing after he was stopped for alleged drunk driving and providing a breath sample which revealed too high an alcohol content.

He thought his hearing was on September 9. The hearing was actually on September 6. He missed his hearing.

I am working on trying to get him a new hearing but his license is suspended while we are waiting for this. The statute goes against you. Transportation Article 16-205.1 Provides As Follows:

(iv) In the absence of a compelling reason for failure to attend a hearing, failure of a person to attend a hearing is prima facie evidence of the person's inability to answer the sworn statement of the police officer or the test technician or analyst, and the Administration summarily shall:

1. Suspend the driver's license or privilege to drive; and

2. If the driver is detained in a commercial motor vehicle or holds a commercial driver's license, disqualify the person from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Maryland also has regulations known as Comar and they provide as follows:

11.11.02.12

.12 Failure to Appear.

If a licensee who has been given notice of the hearing fails to appear for the hearing, the Administration may:

A. Suspend the applicable privilege pending the licensee's appearance at a hearing on a date set by the Administration; or

B. Upon good cause shown to the satisfaction of the Administration as to why the licensee could not appear at the originally scheduled hearing, terminate any suspension imposed under this regulation, and send notice to the licensee of the newly scheduled hearing date.

My argument is that if they cannot find good cause then they should still give him a hearing at provided for under section A. above. The jury is still out on whether they will.

Meanwhile, my client is definitely suspended and cannot drive because he missed a hearing.



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