If you have been charged with a DUI or a DWI, you should know that judges frequently consider jail sentences as punishment for these crimes. An experienced attorney can explain the penalties for DUI and DWI in Maryland and advocate for your right to fair treatment in court. This article will provide more detail about the complex distinctions between these charges so that you can make informed, intelligent decisions.
Criminal Penalties For DUI and DUI In Maryland
Maryland law recognizes three general categories of drunk driving: DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Impaired), and DUI Per Se. The difference between these charges often comes down to blood alcohol content legal limits. All three are very serious offenses, and none of them should be taken lightly. Here are some common penalties that you should be aware of if you have been charged with a drunk driving offense:If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Per Se, you will face a maximum penalty of 1 year and a $1000 fine for a first offense, 2 years and $2000 for a second offense, and 3 years and $3000 for a third offense.
Driving Under the Influence Per Se means that you were operating a motor vehicle, that you soon after submitted to a breathalyzer or blood test, and that your blood alcohol level (B.A.C.) was .08 or higher. Driving Under the Influence means that while you were operating a motor vehicle, the alcohol in your system substantial impaired your normal coordination and could be proven without a breathalyzer or blood test. If you are charged with Driving While Impaired by Alcohol, you are facing a maximum penalty of 60 days and $500 for a first offense and 1 year and $500 for a subsequent offense.
Driving While Impaired by Alcohol means that while you were operating a motor vehicle, the alcohol in your system impaired your normal coordination in some way.
Read our article on the difference between DUI and DWI in Maryland for more details about these distinctions. Under Maryland law, you can be subject to two types of penalties for driving drunk: administrative penalties and criminal penalties. An administrative penalty deals strictly with your license, and involves no jail time or monetary fines. A criminal penalty, on the other hand, may result in jail time and fines. You can expect to be subject to both types of penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving in Maryland.
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Administrative Penalties For Drunk Driving
If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will place 12 points on your driving record. You may have your license and driving privileges revoked as a result. If you are convicted of a DWI or DUI, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will add eight points to your driving record. Often, a DWI or DUI conviction will cause your license to be suspended.
There are other penalties for DWI and DUI in Maryland. If you are convicted of drunk driving, a judge may also require you to install an ignition interlock device in your car before your license can be reinstated. Read our full, in-depth article for more details about ignition interlock device laws in Maryland.
Administrative penalties for DWI and DUI in Maryland are more severe for repeat offenders. You have the right to request an MVA administrative hearing before an administrative law judge and argue that your license should not be suspended or revoked. Time is of the essence, and you must request this hearing almost immediately after the Order of Suspension is issued. A good attorney can be instrumental in helping you keep your driving privileges.
The attorneys at Zirkin and Schmerling Law have years of experience arguing these types of cases in court and will fight to preserve your rights. If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense and are worried about the penalties for DWI and DUI in Maryland, contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys at 410-753-4611. Your initial consultation is free of charge.