Posted January 21, 2014, by Edmund R. Folsom.
As many might already be aware, the length of license suspension for a first offense OUI in Maine has increased, for conduct committed on or after December 1, 2013, from 90 days to 150 days. A person who is either suspended administratively or convicted criminally for a first offense is eligible to drive for the last 120 days of the suspension term with an installed ignition interlock device, but only if the person has first met all other reinstatement requirements. This means the person will need to have (1) paid a reinstatement fee, (2) completed DEEP requirements, and (3) served 30 days off the road, before his or her petition for an ignition interlock device will be processed on a first offense suspension. Reinstatement with an ignition interlock device also requires payment of a $50.00 administrative fee to the BMV, in addition to the reinstatement fee. People still have the option of petitioning for a work-restricted license immediately upon receiving a first-offense administrative suspension. This will be a good option for a lot of people, given the difficulty of completing DEEP requirements for ignition interlock eligibility within the first 30 days of an administrative suspension. Of course, a work-restricted license is just that. It restricts the person to driving to, from, and during work, only. On the other hand, once a person is reinstated with an ignition interlock device, that person is allowed to drive for any purpose, as long as the device remains installed.
The time that a person has served off the road on a first offense administrative suspension counts toward the court-ordered suspension for an OUI conviction. If the person was granted a work-restricted license on the administrative suspension, however, that person will not receive credit toward the court-ordered suspension for any time he or she was allowed to drive work-restricted on the administrative suspension. For example, if the person applied for a work license and it was granted after the person served 7 days off the road, upon conviction for OUI the person will receive only 7 days of credit toward the 150-day court-ordered suspension. The person will, however, be eligible to petition to drive with an ignition interlock device after serving 30 days of the court-ordered suspension, provided DEEP requirements have been met and the reinstatement fee has been paid. In our example, the person would be allowed to petition for reinstatement with an ignition interlock device after serving 23 days of the court-ordered suspension (30 days, minus 7 days of administrative suspension time already served = 23 days remaining). The available options for work-restricted licenses and ignition interlock reinstatement can be very complicated, and what might be a good option for one person might not be good for another person, depending on individual circumstances.
Information on how to satisfy DEEP requirements is available here: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/samhs/osa/deep/index.htm
The petition for ignition interlock device reinstatement and links to information on vendors approved to install and maintain ignition interlock devices in Maine are available here: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/samhs/osa/deep/index.htm
IGNITION INTERLOCKS, WORK LICENSES AND FIRST OFFENSE OUI’S IN MAINE