Maryland laws are tough on drivers considered to be impaired by alcohol or anything else. The restrictions and requirements frequently change, making it tough to keep up with standards.
Not only is it easier than ever before to violate the laws, but the penalties are increasing as well, including the imposition of an interlock device (paid for by the driver), loss of driving privileges and criminal penalties such as jail time and heavy fines.
A DUI charge is a very serious matter requiring significant consideration. Navigating DUI charges is a lot easier when you have a skilled attorney on your side. An experienced Montgomery County DUI lawyer can advise you of the steps to take to help preserve your driving privileges and help you work toward the best possible outcome.
Impaired driving can be treated as either Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI). The DUI offense is more serious. A driver can be convicted of DUI when the blood alcohol concentration is found to be .08 or higher. This is referred to as DUI per se.
For certain drivers, the BAC level needed for a DUI finding is even lower – .04 for those driving commercial vehicles or only .02 for drivers under the age of 21. A driver may also be found guilty of driving under the influence if it is found that the consumption of alcohol has substantially impaired the driver’s coordination.
The driving while impaired or DWI offense may be presumed if a driver’s BAC level is over .05 but less than .08, particularly if it is .07. If a driver has consumed alcohol that has impaired coordination to a certain degree but not sufficient to warrant a charge of DUI, the driver may also be convicted of DWI.
It is important to note that Section 21-902 of the Maryland code, which prohibits driving under the influence or while impaired by alcohol, also prohibits driving under the influence of any drugs or combination of drugs and alcohol that impair their ability to drive safely. There is no chemical standard to measure this impairment so it is based on a case by case determination. A driver may be convicted of this violation even if the drugs are legally prescribed.
In addition to standard criminal penalties such as fines and terms of imprisonment, a number of other penalties can be imposed in DUI and DWI cases. Drivers who are convicted or who refuse to take a breathalyzer test will have their licenses suspended, though they may be eligible for a temporary license.
A conviction or refusal to take the test may also result in the driver being required to use in ignition interlock device and take required classes. Moreover, points will be assessed against the driver’s license.
For a DWI conviction, the maximum criminal penalties include:
For a DUI conviction, the maximum criminal penalties include:
The penalties can increase substantially if the driver is transporting a minor. A Montgomery County DUI lawyer can help mitigate penalties an individual may face.
If you have been charged with an impaired driving offense, it is essential to work with an attorney who understands the complicated laws involved and how they are typically applied in situations like yours.
When you contact a top Montgomery County DUI lawyer, your attorney can start working right away to secure your legal rights and build the best possible legal defense.
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