One drink too many could lead to a drunk driving violation in Maryland, which can result in severe consequences impacting various aspects of your life. Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) actually triggers two separate cases in the state, one of which affects your driving privileges and another that carries criminal penalties. It’s important to understand how these two proceedings work and why it’s important to have an attorney to represent your interests.
Maryland Drunk Driving Law: If you’re pulled over by an officer who suspects you for drink driving, you’ll most likely be required to submit to a breathalyzer test. This device measures your blood alcohol concentration to determine whether you’re driving while drunk. There are different BAC levels that apply, so you may be charged for:
· DWI for a BAC between .04 and .07 percent, if you are over 21 years;
· DUI for a BAC above .08 percent, also for offenders 21 years or older;
· A BAC of .02 percent, if you are under 21 years; and,
· A BAC of .04 percent, if you hold a commercial driver’s license.
Administrative Case: Department of Transportation – Motor Vehicle Administration: One drunk driving proceeding involves your driving privileges, and is handled by the MVA. Your driver’s license will be suspended based upon your prior record:
· First Offense for DUI: Minimum suspension of six months;
· Second Offense for DUI: Suspension up to one year;
· First Offense for DWI: Suspension 60 days; and,
· Second Offense for DWI: Up to six months’ suspension.
There are also points issued against your license, depending on the circumstances of the case.
In addition, the MVA may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID). This technology prevents your vehicle from starting if it detects a BAC above the designated limit when you blow into it.
Criminal Case: Maryland Criminal Court System: The other case against you for a DUI or DWI is criminal in nature, because drunk driving is against the law. If you are convicted, the penalties include:
· First Offense for DUI: Up to one year imprisonment, plus a fine of $1,000;
· Second Offense for DUI: Up to two years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of five days, plus a fine of $2,000;
· First Offense for DWI: Up to two months’ imprisonment, plus a fine of $500; and,
· Second Offense for DWI: Up to one year in prison and a fine of $500.
The penalties increase considerably for a third offense for DUI or DWI, or if there is a minor child in the car while you’re charged with drunk driving.
When you consult with an attorney for DUI hearings Maryland, it may be possible to avoid or reduce the harsh consequences of a drunk driving charge. A qualified lawyer with experience in DUI cases will fight for your rights and help you obtain the best possible results allowed by law. If you were charged with drunk driving in Maryland, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to discuss your options.
See Related Blog Posts: