Anyone else with strict, overprotective parents, how do I handle this?

Some background: My mother is the most important person in my life but she is verrry protective of all of her children. Just to give you an idea of how protective she is, when I was 13, she suspended my phone and Internet until I was 18 because she found out that I was gaming online and communicating with other players via text; she also searched my room while I was at school and she treated me like a stranger for months following the incident. She was rebellious as a teenager and got into a lot of trouble so I understand why she is so concerned about her children. I have always striven to be responsible and mature but some why it seems like she still doesn't trust me. Our household scores very low in communication, but we are pressured to conform and agree with the parents. The children in my family are discouraged from expressing our opinions and we fear doing anything that will upset our mother (because of past experiences.) Any time I want to talk to her about something important, she shuts down the conversation and refuses to talk to me about it.

My problem: A guy I'm interested in asked me out on a date. I really want to say yes but seeing as I can't drive, my mother knowing about it is necessary; not that I would hazard going and not telling her. I don't know how to approach her with this (I am the oldest and none of her other kids have started dating.) She has expressed to other relatives that she'd prefer if her children didn't ever date, get married, or have kids of their own.
I am also concerned about how she would react to the guy; he is eight years older than me, has tattoos, and smokes (my mother also has tattoos and smokes btw) but I like him; he's interesting, mature, and driven.

How do I approach her with this without her shutting down on me?
Anyone else with strict, overprotective parents, how do I handle this?
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