Ocean City, Maryland, is a resort town, and keeping the roads safe requires constant monitoring for drunk drivers. So whether you’re a local or tourist, if you plan to be in town, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the area’s DUI laws.
Here are four common questions regarding the state’s DUI laws, specifically those concerning car impoundment and license suspension, along with their answers:
How long can your car be impounded after a DUI under Maryland law?
Unlike many other states, Maryland doesn’t have mandatory minimums for DUI-related car impoundments. However, that doesn’t mean a vehicle can’t be towed, at your expense, to an impound lot.
In many instances, reporting law enforcement agents can order cars involved in DUI stops to impound lots. Other times, they’ll park the car in a safe place near the incident.
If your vehicle is impounded in a Maryland lot, you can usually retrieve it once you have the necessary paperwork. However, if the car sits in the lot for six months or more, it may be auctioned off.
What do you need to retrieve your car after a DUI impoundment?
You’ll need valid picture identification, proof of car ownership and the applicable towing and storage fees to retrieve a vehicle from an impound lot after being slapped with a DUI charge. You may also want to have proof of insurance on hand.
Will my license automatically be suspended if my car is impounded for a DUI?
Mandatory license suspensions come with DUI convictions under Maryland law. However, suspensions are linked to convictions, not impoundments.
First-time offenders can’t drive for six months; second-time offenders are saddled with 12-month suspensions; third-time offenders must give up the right to operate a motor vehicle for 18 months.
Additionally, if your BAC is above 0.08, law enforcement officers can confiscate your license on the scene. The same applies if you refuse a BAC test.
What is an ignition interlock device?
Maryland allows for the implementation of ignition interlock devices that disable vehicle operation if they detect minimal amounts of alcohol. While it can be a preferable option to losing your car, ignition interlock devices can be expensive because offenders must pay for the rental and installation costs.
The best way to avoid DUI legal troubles is to refrain from driving while under the influence. But if it does happen, arming yourself with knowledge about the law may save you considerable hardship.