Maryland DUIs and DWIs
DUI violations in Maryland are committed when drivers operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI penalties may include a driver’s license suspension or revocation, high driving fines, imprisonment and multiple demerit points added to a motorist’s driving record.
For more information about DUI consequences in Maryland and why you need may need to hire an attorney to represent you, continue reading the sections below.
DUI Citations and Convictions in Maryland
Drivers may face serious DUI charges in Maryland when they are caught driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or driving while impaired (DWI) by alcohol. Both DUI and DWI offenses will bring you severe penalties that are added to your driving record.
The severity of the charges against you will vary based on the number of previous offenses you have committed and your age. DUI violations may be considered as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the damaged caused while you were driving under the influence.
Maryland DUI Violations and Penalties
Drunk driving fines in Maryland may vary based on the age of the drivers and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. You will receive immediate consequences when you receive a DUI ticket, and will receive further sanctions by the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the presiding courts if you are found guilty of the offence.
Below are the consequences for a first time DUI and subsequent offenses.
First DUI Offense
Committing a DUI offense for the first time will bring you the following penalties:
- A traffic fine of $1,000.
- Jail time for a period of one year.
- 12 demerit points on your record.
- A driver’s license suspension of six months.
Second DUI Offense
For committing a second DUI, drivers may face a $2,000 traffic fine, a mandatory prison sentence for a period of five days or up to two years, 12 demerit points and a driver’s license revocation of one year.
Third or Subsequent DUI Offense
Committing a third or subsequent DUI violation in Maryland, especially while transporting a minor at the time of the offense, will bring even harsher penalties. Therefore, drivers are encouraged to hire an impaired driving lawyer to help them reduce or avoid severe charges, such as extended jail sentences.
Drinking and Driving in Maryland
Drivers may face harsh Maryland drunk driving charges for operating a motor vehicle under the influence, or for driving while impaired by alcohol. A driver will be charged with a DWI when he or she is found operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of other intoxicants, besides alcohol.
Impaired driving in MD may be considered a misdemeanor or a criminal offense, depending on the consequences. For instance, drunk driving in Maryland will be considered as a criminal offense when it results in the bodily injury or death of another individual.
Maryland DUI Attorneys
Maryland drunk driving lawyers are necessary legal representatives who specialize in DUI and DWI citation laws. Motorists are encouraged to hire a lawyer in order to get their DUI charges reduced or to win their case in court. In order to find the best attorney for a specific case, defendants are encouraged to conduct background checks on s potential candidates.
A DUI defense attorney will help you deal with serious situations when you are charged with impaired driving and when you want to avoid high traffic fines and imprisonment. Even if your attorney cannot completely dismiss your charges, he or she will still be able to negotiate for a lesser sentence and guide you through the trial process.
Open Container Laws in Maryland
Drivers are required to obey DUI laws while driving motor vehicles on public roads. The state of Maryland has established open container laws, which prohibit drivers from operating motor vehicles while transporting alcoholic drinks in open containers, such as cans, bottles or packages.
Breaking open container laws can result in harsh penalties, such as fines and license suspension.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Maryland
Driving with a suspended license in Maryland is considered illegal. To reinstate a suspended license, drivers must complete the reinstatement process once their suspension period has come to an end. When reinstating a suspended credential, motorists must satisfy certain court and administrative requirements.
For example, part of those requirements may be to complete a traffic school course or an alcohol awareness class. Keep in mind that the number of steps and requirements may vary depending on the severity of the DUI offense and the number of previous traffic violations.
Note: Unlike other states, when reinstating a suspended license in Maryland, drivers will not be required to provide proof of car insurance, also known as SR-22 insurance. However, if you must prove to the MVA that you hold a valid auto insurance policy, you can complete a Maryland Vehicle Insurance Certification (Form #FR-19) instead.
Maryland Alcohol Awareness Classes
Drivers who are charged with a DUI in Maryland may need to enroll in an alcohol awareness course as part of the court requirements. Motorists can attend DUI classes by enrolling in an Alcohol and Drug Education Program.
The completion of this traffic school course may help drivers avoid a driver’s license suspension or provide them with the chance to easily reinstate their driving privileges later on.
Maryland Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
DUI laws in Maryland were created in order to limit the amount of alcohol a driver can consume before operating a motor vehicle. If a driver 21 years of age or older is found driving a vehicle with a BAC level over 0.08 percent, he or she is in violation of Maryland’s drunk driving laws.
In addition, minors (drivers younger than 21 years of age) are not allowed to have any amount of alcohol present in their blood when driving.
Maryland Hardship License
Drivers with a suspended license are eligible to apply for a restricted driving credential, which allows them to drive motor vehicles to work or school. To obtain a hardship license, drivers need to satisfy certain eligibility criteria.
For example, certain DUI charges can disqualify you from being apple to obtain a hardship license. Therefore, drivers who are charged with a DUI are encouraged to contact a local MVA office and check their eligibility.