If you are arrested for drinking and driving in Columbia or Ellicott City, then you will be issued a temporary license. Whether or not you end up with the interlock depends on your breathalyzer results at the Howard County Police or Maryland State Police barracks.
For a first time DWI offender, if your breathalyzer results are 0.08-0.14, then it is unlikely you will have to install the interlock. In fact, you should request a MVA hearing because you are eligible for a modification of your suspension. If the MVA judge doesn’t grant your modification, then they will either suspend your license or offer you the interlock. In our experience, most first time DUI offenders end up with the modification and not the interlock. But the mood may be changing after Noah’s Law.
If your breathalyzer results are 0.15 or greater, then you are facing a 180 day suspension, or you can opt to install the interlock for one year. Unfortunately, there is no option to modify your suspension when you blow over a 0.15. So, unless you can handle the suspension, you are likely going to opt for the interlock.
Finally, if you refuse the breathalyzer test, then you are facing a 270 day suspension, or you can opt for the interlock for one year. Here, there is also no option to modify your suspension. Again, you’ll probably take the interlock in order to keep driving.
Bottom line: if you blow over a 0.15 or refuse the breathalyzer test, then you’re likely going to end up putting the interlock in your car in order to keep driving.
A DUI conviction means you’re getting the interlock
There’s a big misconception out there that Noah’s Law means everyone is getting the interlock. Noah’s Law requires the interlock if you are convicted of driving under the influence or driving while impaired. Most first time DUI offenders are not convicted of a DUI. They receive something called a probation before judgment, or PBJ. Therefore, if you blow under a 0.15 or opt to take the suspension, and are not convicted of a DUI, then you won’t have the interlock on your car.
Most first time DUI offenders avoid the interlock, especially if their BAC results are under a 0.15.