If you’ve been charged with impaired driving in Maryland, whether it be from alcohol or drugs, then you’re probably wondering what kind of penalties you could be facing.
Drinking and driving is a public safety issue. Vehicle accidents in Maryland in 2017 involving impaired drivers caused 188 fatalities and more than 3,200 persons were injured. But people are human, and, on more than one occasion, someone has a couple of drinks and then hits the road.
There are two “impaired while driving” charges in Maryland – DUI and DWI. This blog post focuses on Maryland DUI penalties. A DUI is a more serious offense than a DWI. Maryland DWI penalties are discussed in a separate blog post.
DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” Being charged with a DUI in Ocean City, Baltimore and Maryland means that your blood alcohol concentration posted at 0.08% or higher. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol present in a 100 milliliter (mL) volume of blood.
Blood alcohol levels after alcohol consumption can depend on many factors, including gender, body weight, whether food was eaten along with the drinks and the amount of alcohol in the drinks. But, where one drink equals 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol), 12 ounces of beer (4.5% alcohol), or 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol), a 160-lb man who has had two drinks an hour would test at .05%, a 180-lb man who has had two drinks an hour would test at .04% and a 200-lb man who has had two drinks an hour would test at .04%.
Penalties for a Maryland DUI
DUI charges can carry both administrative penalties such as license suspension and criminal penalties such as jail time. It depends upon whether this is a first Ocean City, Baltimore or Maryland DUI charge.
A first-offense DUI in Maryland carries a possible six-month license suspension, up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. Twelve points will be assessed against your record and you may be required to participate in the Alcohol Education Program and have an ignition interlock device installed on the impaired driver’s car.
A Maryland ignition interlock prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects a specified amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath. The driver charged with the DUI has to pay for the installation of the device. The Maryland DUI driver must also pay a monthly monitoring fee for the ignition interlock. However, if your finances are tight there is a financial hardship exception to the fees and costs of having a Maryland ignition interlock device installed on your car.
A first-offense DUI in Maryland doesn’t require mandatory minimum jail time but does come with a potential period of incarceration of up to one year.
A second offense Maryland DUI comes with up to $2,000 in fines and up to two years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of five days, required participation in the ignition interlock device program and mandatory participation in an alcohol abuse assessment program. Twelve points will be assessed against your Maryland driver’s license and your license could be revoked for up to one year.
The possible penalties are even higher for a third Maryland DUI charge and conviction, for those convicted of vehicular homicide and for those convicted of traveling in a car with someone under the age of 18. The penalties for repeat offenders with Ocean City, Baltimore and Maryland DUI and DWI charges will be discussed in a separate blog.
A Maryland attorney can help you with your DUI charge. A Maryland DUI attorney will review your case to determine if the charges can be reduced or dismissed. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience fighting Ocean City, Baltimore and Maryland DUI charges. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 410-881-4022, the law office at 410.244.5068 or via our website for a free consultation.