If you’re arrested for DUI/DWI in Maryland, the offense will result in criminal charges that may lead to jail time and a fine; you may also receive a driver’s license suspension and be forced to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle for a minimum of six months. Under the newly effective Noah’s Law, drunk drivers must implement the IID technology, which prevents your car from starting if your breath reveals a blood alcohol concentration higher than the designated percentage.
However, a DUI/DWI also impacts your driving privileges under the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Points System. A Maryland drunk driving lawyer can help explain how these rules may have negative consequences for your specific situation.
How the MVA Points System Works: When you are convicted of violation Maryland traffic laws, the MVA will add points to your driving record. The number of points varies according to the severity of the offense:
· Improper Turn or Failure to Yield = 1 point;
· Failure to Stop for a School Bus or Failure to Stop at a Red Light = 2 points;
· Driving without a Driver’s License = 5 points; and,
· Reckless Driving = 6 points.
Speeding is also punishable by applying points to your record, depending on how far over the speed limit you were driving:
· 10 or more miles per hour = 1 point;
· 20 or more miles per hour = 2 points;
· 20 or more miles per hour when the speed limit is 65 mph = 5 points; and,
· 30 or more miles per hour = 5 points.
Consequences of Accumulating Points: The MVA will take action when you accumulate a designated number of points within a two-year period.
· 3-4 Points: You will receive a written caution from the MVA, warning you that more severe penalties will result if you continue to violate Maryland traffic laws;
· 5-7 Points: The MVA will require you to complete a state-approved Driver Improvement Program;
· 8-11 Points: The MVA will suspend your driver’s license for a certain amount of time; and,
· 12 Points or More: Your license will be revoked and you’ll have to apply for a new license when the revocation period ends.
The MVA Points System for DUI/DWI Violations: A drunk driving conviction, either for driving while impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), automatically adds 12 points to your driving record. Under the circumstances, you have three options:
1. Accept a driver’s license revocation;
2. Contest the revocation by requesting a hearing on the matter; or,
3. Apply for the IID Program, which means your license will not be revoked; however, your driving privileges will likely be restricted to certain necessity-based activities.
The laws related to DUI/DWI in Maryland are extremely tough. Not only does the drunk driving charge impact your driving privileges for that specific incident, but an arrest can add points to your record – also leading to a license revocation or suspension. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, you need an aggressive DUI/DWI lawyer to fight for your rights. Please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to discuss how the MVA Points System works in your case.
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