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Maryland recognizes strict laws and penalties with regard to driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). A conviction could affect your life for years to come. If you’ve been pulled over for DUI, you need to contact a DUI lawyer in the Maryland and D.C. areas right away. Your criminal defense attorney can explain the applicable laws to you, discuss the legal process, and let you know which penalties you could be facing upon conviction.

DUI/DWI Laws
Your defense lawyer will advise you as to the specific charges against you. If you’ve been charged with DWI in Maryland, it means that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was allegedly between 0.04 and 0.08 percent. Maryland law considers DUI to be a more severe offense. Individuals charged with DUI are believed to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher . However, if you’re under the age of 21, you can be charged for having a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.

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Implied Consent 
Maryland law acknowledges the principle of implied consent, which essentially means that any driver on Maryland roadways has already given consent to chemical testing if suspected of drunk driving. After you’ve been pulled over, the police officer may ask you to conduct a series of field sobriety tests, such as walking a straight line. These tests are not required by law. However, the officer will likely ask you to take a breath, blood, or urine test. If you refuse chemical testing, you’re subject to automatic penalties such as revocation of your driver’s license for a certain period of time. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident that caused injury or death, the officer can compel you to take a chemical test. Generally, criminal defense attorneys advise their clients to take the test. The results may be disputed later.

DUI/DWI Penalties
After your arrest, you should talk to your lawyer about the potential penalties you’re facing if convicted. These depend on whether you’ve previously been convicted of DUI/DWI. If so, the penalties will be more severe. Typical penalties involve jail time, fines, and license suspension.