Just like every other state in the US, Maryland has strict laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because these laws are designed to save lives, they come with severe penalties for violators including jail time, monetary fines, and a permanent criminal record. Fortunately, a DUI charge does not always equate to a conviction. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Maryland, it is essential to consult an experienced DUI attorney to examine your case and defend your rights. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI laws in Maryland. |
What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence? In Maryland, it is against the law to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. The .08% limit is the standard measurement of driver impairment in the United States. In addition to this standard, the State of Maryland has also evoked a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Drivers under the age of 21 found with a BAC of .02% or above will be subject to a driver's license suspension or revocation. Commercial drivers are also held to a higher standard and could face fines, license suspension, and criminal charges if found with a BAC of .04% or higher.
What Is the Difference between a DUI and a DWI? In the State of Maryland, a driver can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they are found with a BAC of .08% or higher. If the driver is found with a BAC between .04% and .08%, they may still be charged with driving while impaired (DWI). This charged is often enforced when additional factors, including bodily injury or property damage, are involved. The penalties for a DWI conviction are less severe than a DUI conviction but may include up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, a 6-month license suspension, and 8 points on your driving record.
Can I Refuse to Take a BAC Test? The State of Maryland has an implied consent law. This law states that upon receiving a driver’s license in Maryland, every driver must agree to take a blood, breath, or urine test if a police officer has reason to believe that you are driving while intoxicated. Refusal to take a blood, breath, or urine test will result in a 120-day license suspension. For all subsequent refusals, your license will be automatically suspended for 1 year. Upon refusal of the test, the officer will issue a temporary 45-day driver’s license. All violators have the right to request a hearing to challenge the suspension or request a 1-year restricted license with a vehicle initiation interlock device instead.
What Are the Penalties Associated with a DUI Conviction The penalties for a DUI conviction in Maryland can vary depending upon the number of convictions. A first-time DUI conviction may be penalized with up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a 6-month license suspension. A second DUI conviction may be penalized with up to 2 years in jail, $2,000 in fines, and a 1-year license suspension. A third DUI conviction may be penalized with up to 3 years in jail, a $3,000 fine, and an 18-month license suspension. All of these fines and penalties will be increased if the driver is found to be transporting a minor at the time of arrest.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Maryland, it is essential to consult an experienced DUI attorney to evaluate your case, defend your rights, and help reduce or eliminate any associated penalties.
Related Articles -