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Maryland DUI Penalties

The Maryland court system takes DUI and DWI offenses very seriously. With punishments ranging from monetary fines to jail time, a suspect who is convicted of a drunk driving-related offense is sure to experience extreme negative impacts on their personal and professional life. DUI is classified by a BAC above .08 percent, and DWI is classified by a BAC of .06 to .07 percent. Below is an outline of the possible penalties you may face if you are charged with DUI or DWI in the state of Maryland. To best understand how these penalties relate to your situation, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss the details of your case.

DUI (Driving Under the Influence)

First Offense

  • Up to 12 months of jail time
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • 12 points on your driving record
  • Possible revocation of your driving privilege

Second Offense

  • Up to two years of jail time
  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Possible revocation of your driving privilege

DWI (Driving While Impaired)

First Offense

  • Up to two months of jail time
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Eight points on your driving record
  • Possible suspension of your driving privilege

Second Offense

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Possible revocation of your driving privilege

Possible enhanced penalties could be applied for your third or subsequent violation, or if you have a minor in the vehicle.

BAC Test Refusal

Due to the implied consent laws in the state of Maryland, when you operate a motor vehicle you consent to taking a BAC test if pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Should you refuse to submit to the BAC tests, the punishments can vary. A first offense warrants a 270-day license suspension, while a second or third offense could warrant a one year license suspension. If you consent to the test but then fail, your license will automatically be suspended, but for a shorter period than if you had refused.

Alcohol Education

If your license was revoked due to a DUI or DWI charge, you will have to attend an alcohol education program before applying for a new one. The program is designed to deter you from committing an impaired driving offense again in the future. Participants in the course also undergo a psychological analysis to determine whether or not they have alcohol abuse or dependency issues. If so, they will also be required to follow a treatment program.

Impact on Insurance

Usually, when a person is charged with a DUI but not convicted, they do not receive any points on their driving record. The insurance company’s policy is to not modify programs unless somebody receives points on their driving record. A non-conviction should not have a significant impact on somebody’s insurance.

However, if an individual is convicted, it may result in points which could cause an insurance company to raise rates or to drop somebody from the program completely depending on the individual’s insurance policy.

Most insurance companies are at-will regarding how they insure people. An insurance company could decide to drop a person because they have too many points, too many moving violations, or other internal criteria pertaining to specific kinds of coverage.
Generally, a person’s DUI attorney can assist them in making sure that their driving record and criminal record stay as clean as possible. Presenting an insurance company with no points after a DUI is resolved is probably the best and most effective way of keeping a person on their original insurance plan.

Hire a Maryland DUI Attorney

The laws surrounding DUI and DWI convictions in Maryland are very complex and although the penalties for such offenses are outlined above, other factors render every case different. In addition to monetary fines and possible jail time, the negative impact of a drunk driving-related conviction can also extend into your personal and professional life. If convicted, your reputation could be damaged, you could lose your job, and you will develop a criminal record. Wading through the murky waters of the Maryland court system following a DUI or DWI charge is not something you should be doing alone.

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