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The penalties for a first drunk driving offense in Maryland

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | dui/dwi |

The drunk driving laws in Maryland are harsh, and even drivers who have never been in trouble with the law can be sent to jail for up to a year if they get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The severity of the penalties motorists in Maryland face for operating their vehicles while impaired are determined by their blood alcohol concentrations. A BAC of 0.07% will lead to a driving while intoxicated charge. If chemical tests reveal that a driver has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they will be charged with driving while under the influence. BAC thresholds are lower for young drivers and commercial vehicle operators.

First offense DUI penalties in Maryland

The penalties for a first DUI offense in Maryland are a custodial sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Maryland drivers convicted of DUI for the first time also have 12 penalty points placed on their driving records and lose their driving privileges for up to six months. Fines and jail sentences are doubled for a second DUI offense.

First offense DWI penalties in Maryland

Drivers with BACs higher than 0.07% but lower than 0.08% are charged with DWI rather than DUI in Maryland. The penalties for a first DWI offense are a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to two months. Motorists convicted of DWI for the first time also have eight penalty points placed on their driving records and are banned from operating a motor vehicle for up to six months.

Avoiding drunk driving penalties

A first drunk driving conviction can lead to a jail sentence and hefty fine in Maryland. If you visit a bar or restaurant or attend a party where alcohol will be served, you can avoid a potentially costly brush with the law by appointing a designated driver or using a ride-sharing service or taxi to get home.

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