Maryland DUI Law
Maryland has strict laws against driving under the influence for drivers using the state’s roadways. Maryland is a participant in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, which means that even if you are arrested for driving under the influence in Maryland, Maryland officials will report the offense to your home state and your home state will also seek to suspend your driving privileges. Being arrested for a DUI offense in Maryland starts two different cases against a DUI offender. One is a criminal case that means you will face criminal charges and penalties that fit the crime of driving under the influence. The other is an administrative case that deals with the suspension of your driver’s license. Because successfully winning these two cases requires legal experience and a strong knowledge of the complex DUI laws, contact a Maryland DUI lawyer immediately after being arrested. If you have a qualified Maryland DUI attorney on your side, you will have a much better chance of presenting your defense and winning your case.
Maryland DUI Arrests
When someone is arrested for DUI in Maryland, it is called driving under the influence or driving while impaired. Maryland’s upper limit for blood alcohol concentration is 0.08%. This means that exceeding this level will result in driving under the influence charges being filed against the driver. Blood alcohol concentrations of .07 result in a charge of driving while impaired. Two types of prosecution theories exist in Maryland, as in many other states. One is the issue of impairment. The prosecutor trying a case based on impairment may introduce evidence to show that the driver was impaired at the time of arrest. Information introduced into the prosecutor’s case may include the smell of alcohol on a defendant’s breath, having an intoxicated appearance, bad driving habits, and refusal to submit to chemical testing. The second prosecution theory is the “per se" law of driving while you have more than the legal limit of alcohol concentrated in your blood. The prosecutor trying a case under this theory only has to show that your BAC level exceeded 0.08% at the time of the arrest.
Maryland DUI Penalties
Driving under the influence is the more serious of the two Maryland offenses. The penalties for this type of offense include a 45 day driver’s license suspension, $1,000 in fines, and up to one year in jail for a first offense. Penalties for a second offense increase to $2,000 in fines and 2 years in jail for second-time offenders. If a person is convicted of DUI in Maryland, 12 points are added to the offender’s driving record. Driving while impaired is the less serious of the two offenses in Maryland. However, the consequences are still strict. The driver’s license suspension period can be up to 60 days in length with 8 points added to the offender’s Maryland driving record. For a first offense, an offender faces up to $500 in fines and 2 months in jail. For a second offense, the offender faces up to $500 in fines and one year in jail. Refusing to submit to chemical testing an result in a license suspension period of 120 days. This refusal to submit to chemical testing may also be used against you in court to show that you were refusing the test because you knew you were impaired. Since the Interstate Driver’s License Compact allows states to share DUI information with each other, your home state will receive notice of your DUI or DWI offense in Maryland. Because these charges have serious consequences, it is important that you contact a Maryland DUI attorney as soon as you can after being arrested.
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