There are many different situations when people in Maryland have a drink or two. For the most part it is fine to drive after a drink, but there are times when people have more than one and still feel fine. In these situations people are risking being charged with a DUI or DWI. If people are convicted they can face serious consequences that affect different parts of their lives.
DWIs and DUIs in Maryland
There is a distinction between DWIs and DUIs in Maryland. People can be charged with a DWI if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.07 or above, while they need to have a BAC of at least 0.08 to be charged with a DUI.
As DUI charges involve a higher BAC, the potential penalties are also more harsh than the potential penalties for a DWI.
Penalties for DUI
If people are convicted of a DUI, the penalties depend on how many DWI convictions people had prior to the present offense.
For a first-time DUI, penalties include:
- Up to a $1,000 fine and a jail sentence of up to one year
- 12 points are added to people’s driving record
- Driver’s license revocation of up to six months
For the second DUI, penalties include:
- Up to a $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail, but there is a minimum jail sentence of five days
- 12 points will be added to people’s driving record
- Driver’s license revocation of up to one year. If the second offense is within five years of the first offense, then after the driver’s license revocation, they may be required to have ignition interlock in their vehicles for a period of time
- Potentially need to complete a alcohol abuse assessment
A concern to mitigate
When people are charged with a DUI or DWI in Maryland, it can cause a lot of concern about how it will affect them immediately and in the future. DUI convictions can certainly create both immediate and long-term problems, but DUI charges are not convictions. People who are only charged are innocent until proven guilty and may have defenses available to them. Experienced attorneys understand the DUI legal process and may be able to guide one through it.