Penalties for DUI for Drivers Under 21
Penalties are exactly the same for DUI drivers under 21 as they are for over 21. Maximum penalty for a first offense DUI in Anne Arundel is one-year incarceration, a $1,000 fine, and 12 points against the individual’s driver’s license. That is the maximum penalty.
It is extremely rare for first offenders in Maryland to receive any kind of incarceration—let alone a year of incarceration. Individuals will also often be charged with DWI if they are charged with a DUI and that is lesser offense. The maximum penalty for a DWI is 60 days of maximum incarceration, a $500 fine, and eight points assessed to the individual’s driver’s license.
License Suspension for Drivers Under 21
This will be one area where there actually is a significant difference between under 21 and over 21 drivers.
Over 21 drivers who blows under .15 are subject to a 45-day suspension of their driver’s license, but that suspension can be modified to allow them to drive to work, school, alcohol treatment, and court-ordered doctor’s appointments, as well as medical or dental treatments.
If individuals are under the age of 21, they are not eligible of that modification. The only kind of modification that they can have on suspension is a 6-month ignition interlock on their license. This means that they have to install the ignition interlock device, which is a hand-held breathalyzer machine in their car and blow into it every time they want to start the vehicle. That is harsher for people who are under 21 and over 21. That law is relatively new. It is about five years old.
Restricted Licenses for Drivers Under 21
In order to obtain a restricted license, the individual needs to request a hearing before an administrative law judge and there the judge will determine whether or not the individual is suited to participate in the ignition interlock program.
The long-term implications for a DUI are going to be the same whether an individual is over 21 or under 21. It could potentially a mean loss of employment and difficulty in obtaining future employment; it could result in higher insurance premiums if someone is convicted of a DUI. There really can be some long-term implications on an individual’s future if found guilty of DUI in Maryland.
Alternative Sentencing Options for Drivers Under 21
An underage individual may be ordered to attend a program of in-patient rehabilitation. That individual may be ordered to obey the court’s probation conditions as opposed to going to jail. Generally speaking, individuals are more likely than not going to be first offenders. They haven’t been driving long enough to wrap up different DUIs. What that means is that jail is the exception and not the rule for first offenses in Maryland. There are usually some kinds of alternative sentences to jail time for first offense DUIs.
Requirements for Alternative Sentencing
It is going to be at the judge’s discretion. The judge will determine whether or not an individual is a fit candidate for probation or community service rather than for jail. Things that individuals should do to improve the likelihood of getting those outcomes are: enrolling in alcohol treatment, showing up in court dressed appropriately, always being respectful, answering the judge’s questions appropriately, and generally making the judge feel that they will be a good candidate for probation rather than for jail.