Underage drinking is an offense that Maryland authorities take seriously. Facing such charges can negatively impact your life, but you can protect your rights. You should know about the state’s underage DUI laws and penalties.
What are Maryland’s underage DUI laws?
Maryland has laws against driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI). While a person 21 or older can be arrested on DUI charges for a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, those who are under 21 can face underage criminal charges if they have any level of alcohol content found in their system.
The state doesn’t have an actual underage DUI law, but drivers younger than 21 have a restriction on their licenses. If someone is found to be in violation of that restriction, they can face penalties.
What are the penalties for underage DUI?
If a driver younger than 21 violates the restriction on their driver’s license by having alcohol in their system, they can face different penalties. They include the following:
- Up to two months in jail
- A fine ranging up to $500
- Driver’s license suspension for six months
- Driver improvement course if there are multiple restriction violations
- Interlock ignition device
Certain factors can increase the penalties a person faces for underage DUI. A driver under 21 found to have a BAC of .08 or higher can face charges for violating the restrictions on their license and DUI. Individuals in this situation are required to have an IID on their vehicle for three years.
For refusing a chemical test, the driver can have their license suspended for 270 days for a first offense. For a second one, the license suspension is two years.