Drunk driving offenses are taken very seriously, especially in Maryland. This is where Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was formed as a consumer group to enact stricter DUI laws. Most states have a baseline for determining whether or not you are driving under the influence (DUI). That’s when you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. That same level holds true for Maryland but they have an added law of driving while impaired (DWI) which sets the baseline BAC level at .07.
It is difficult to determine just how many drinks it takes to reach those levels. A lot depends on whether or not you’ve eaten anything and what you are specifically drinking. Although considered less severe then a DUI, a DWI can carry the same level of penalties and potential jail time.
Maryland DUI/DWI Conviction Penalties
If you have gotten into trouble and find yourself convicted of a DUI or DWI offense in Maryland you are encouraged to make it a one time occurrence. The more convictions for these types of offenses, the greater the penalty. For a first time DUI you can face up to one year in jail or two years if you were driving a minor. There is also a six month driver’s license suspension and $1,000 fine ($2,000 if driving with a minor). For a first DWI you’re looking at up to two months in jail or six if driving with a minor. Also, six months of license suspension and $500 fine ($1,000 if driving with a minor).
On a second DUI offense the jail time goes up to two years, the license suspension to one year and the fine to $2,000. You also could be subjected to an ignition interlock device installed in your car which forces you to take a breathalyzer test every time you start the car.
For a second DWI the jail time and license suspension gets bumped up to a year and the fines to $1,000. For a third DUI or DWI all the fines and penalties are increased by the factor of 1 (3 years jail time, $3,000 fine etc.). Additionally, you can also have your vehicle impounded for any length of time that is up to the judge’s discretion.
Maryland Implied Consent Law
As with other states, Maryland DUI laws contain the implied content provision of obtaining a driver’s license. Regardless of your history, if you get a Maryland driver’s license you have agreed to subject yourself to any chemical test of your blood or urine if asked by a police officer who suspects you might be under the influence. If you refuse those tests then your license could automatically be suspended for up to four months or one year if it is the second time you’ve refused.
Additional Maryland DUI Law Details
The DUI and DWI threshold levels are much greater when it comes to minors (under the legal drinking age of 21) or any commercial vehicle operators such as bus or truck drivers. For minors the BAC is .02. For commercial drivers the BAC is .04.
Being arrested for a DUI or DWI offense in Maryland means you’ll be resolving this matter in front of a judge. Fortunately, there are many qualified and experienced local attorneys who specialize in DUI and DWI arrests that can help you or your loved ones who are facing these types of charges.