Published April 2, 2020, by Marc Emden
FOR THOSE CHARGED WITH DRINKING AND DRIVING OFFENSES:
Because of COVID-19, Maryland has issued new rules which will apply to your cases:
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) closed its offices on March 20, 2020, until further notice. In the meantime, if you are charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, you must:
- Still mail in your request for a hearing within 30 days of your arrest before the MVA to continue to drive;
- Carry your temporary license with you in the event you are stopped by law enforcement;
- If you are seeking an interlock, MVA informed interlock vendors that they are authorized to perform new interlock installations. When the vendors send the installation information to the MVA, the agency will put the restriction on the driver’s record and stay any (test refusal, test failure, DWI/points) suspension or revocation that is pending. The agency will not require the issuance of an interlock restricted license during the declared emergency. If a client needs a license, some appointments are granted, for the cause.
- A person seeking issuance of a license should contact MVA through their COVID-19 emergency contact access (this from the MVA website);
- Customers with questions related to emergency business needs, like obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or registering fleet vehicles needed to bring resources to Marylanders, should reach out to MDOT MVA at COVID19MVAAction@mdot.maryland.gov or 1-800-950-1682;
- MVA will continue to process Orders of Suspension and hearing requests, although hearings are not being scheduled pending the end of the Emergency.
- Most county courts have closed until May 1, 2020. This means that the court will likely not set your case in for trial until after this date.
- Because of delays, many who would benefit from treatment or pretrial rehabilitation should use this time to do.
Here are some points of contact for online classes:
Alcohol and drug classes:
- Virginia DMV-approved: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#clinics.asp
- Maryland-approved http://www.mva.maryland.gov/drivers/rookie-driver/driver-education-schools.htm
Anger management/ impulse control:
Beware fraudulently and mislabeled online options that take payment to read articles on the claim that this makes the participant a better member of society.
EMERGENCY/BOND HEARINGS DURING COVID-19:
If a loved one or family member is incarcerated pending his or her court date, most courts in Maryland are still holding emergency hearings. This also means that because jails do not want to keep Defendants incarcerated unnecessarily at at this time, some Judges are more inclined now, because of the risk of spreading the virus, to release Defendants from custody with conditions.