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What does it mean if I'm classified as a repeat DUI offender?

Maryland laws consider drunk driving a serious offense that has a variety of consequences. While many people will only face a drunk driving charge one time and then take the lesson to heart, there are other individuals who find themselves in trouble for drunk driving more than once. Those who get into trouble for drunk driving more than once might find out that they are classified as a repeat offender.

What is a repeat offender for DUI charges?

Anyone who gets more than one DUI violation within a span of five years is considered a repeat offender. If you are considered a repeat offender, you will get a notice in the mail from the Motor Vehicle Administration. It is important that you read this notice carefully because it outlines your rights and responsibilities.

What can I do if I get a notice in the mail?

There are several options that you have when you a Notice of Suspension in the mail. You can simply do nothing, which means that your license will be suspended for a year, and an ignition interlock device will be required for a year after that. You can request a hearing so you can prove that you didn't have two DUIs or alcohol-related offenses in five years. You can return your driver's license to the closest MVA and ask how to accept a 45-day suspension with a 320-day ignition interlock requirement.

You should carefully consider how each of these options will affect you. Learning about the consequences of a drunk driving charge is vital at every step of the process -- from the initial arrest through the final disposition of the case.

Source: Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, "Repeat Offender Violations," accessed July 26, 2015

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