A typical driving while under the influence (DUI) charge in Ocean City, Maryland carries a range of possible penalties. Punishment, however, is increased when certain elements are involved. Most DUIs are charged as misdemeanors. Aggravating factors can increase potential jail time and fines and raise the charge in an Ocean City DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Aggravating factors in Maryland can include an extremely high blood alcohol concentration, reckless driving, speeding, having a child in the vehicle and past convictions.
High blood alcohol concentration
In Maryland, a driver is considered intoxicated if the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or more. A BAC of 0.15 or higher is considered an aggravated DUI, which enhances the possible penalties even for a first offense.
Minors in the vehicle
The presence of minors in the vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest can also result in an aggravated DUI charge. Maryland law is clear that driving drunk or driving while impaired with a child in the car is an aggravating factor in DUI offenses. Maryland penalties for a DUI or DWI will be enhanced if an impaired driver is found to have transported a passenger under the age of 18.
An impaired or drunk driver who has a child in the car when stopped by law enforcement can also face child endangerment charges.
A person can be charged with aggravated DUI in Maryland if they drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and act in an especially reckless manner.
Reckless driving under Maryland law is driving “a motor vehicle in wanton or willful disregard of the safety of an individual or property.”
Multiple DUI convictions
Maryland courts hand down stiffer sentences if the driver has had previous DUI convictions. In some instances, previous convictions in other states are also be taken into account. Lawmakers are serious about punishing repeated offenders. Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan personally pushed through the state legislature a law that increased the penalties for Maryland drivers with repeat DUI/DWI convictions.
A drunk or impaired driver can be charged with speeding. If the driver exceeds the speed limit by a certain amount, the motor vehicle operator can be charged with an aggravated DUI or aggravated DWI. For example, if you are clocked at 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, you can face higher penalties than if you were driving 10 miles over the speed limit.
Drunk driving causes injuries or death
Another aggravating factor in Maryland is drunk or impaired driving that causes an accident involving serious injuries or death.
If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI or DWI, it’s important to get legal help. An Ocean City DUI attorney can examine the aggravating factors in your case to determine if they will hold up in court. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience fighting Ocean City, Maryland DUI and DWI charges. The office is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh DUI legal needs. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.881.4022 or through the website for a free consultation.