As in other states, allegedly drunk drivers are subject to very severe laws in Maryland. If you or a loved one has recently been charged with drunk driving, you should arrange for legal representation promptly by contacting a criminal law firm in the Maryland and D.C. areas. Your criminal defense attorney can help you understand the laws that may apply to your case and the types of penalties you could be facing upon conviction. Be sure to provide your DUI lawyer with all the facts of your case so that he or she may build a solid defense on your behalf.
DUI and DWI Laws
Maryland law recognizes two separate drunk driving charges. Driving under the influence (DUI) is considered more severe than driving while intoxicated (DWI). You could be charged with a DWI offense if the police officer determines that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.07 percent. A DUI charge is used if your BAC is found to be 0.08 percent or higher. If you are the driver of a commercial vehicle, you are held to an even stricter standard. If your BAC is allegedly between 0.04 and 0.07 percent, you can be charged with DWI. You can be charged with a DUI offense for driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.07 or higher. Given these differences, it may be confusing to you if you’ve been charged with both DUI and DWI offenses. Maryland police officers can charge you with both simultaneously. However, you can rest assured that you cannot be convicted of both offenses.
Your criminal defense attorney can help you determine the potential penalties that the court may impose upon you. For a first DWI offense, you could be ordered to pay up to $500 in fines, whereas you could be required to pay up to $1,000 for a first DUI offense. The fines increase with each subsequent offense. For example, for a third DUI conviction, you could be ordered to pay up to $3,000.
Jail time is a common penalty for DUI and DWI convictions. In Maryland, first time offenders face up to a year in jail for a DUI conviction or up to 60 days in jail for a DWI conviction. Second-time offenders face up to two years for a DUI offense or up to a year for a DWI offense.