If arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the consequences of a conviction on a DUI or DWI has serious consequences. While the penalties vary based on the circumstances, a drunk driving conviction will almost always have a significant effect on one’s life for years to come.

Generally, a first time DUI offender in Maryland faces up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, along with a license revocation of up to six months. There will also be 12 points placed on the convicted person’s driving record. Second time offenders, will receive up to $2,000 in fines and a minimum of five days in jail (and a maximum of two years), in addition to license revocation of a year and 12 points on the driver’s driving record.

A DWI conviction is generally less serious than a DUI conviction, but the consequences can still be serious. First time DWI offenders could face up to two months in prison and up to $500 in fines, along with a 6-month license suspension and 8 points added to the driver’s driving record. Second DWI offenders could face a 9- to 12-month license suspension, 8 points added to their driving record, $500 in fines and up to a year in jail.

Other factors can also effect the penalties, such age, the points that have been accumulated on the driving record, and whether you have multiple convictions within a certain amount of time. For example, drivers who have had a prior DUI violation before their DUI conviction, they will have their license suspended for a year before having to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This device requires the driver to blow into the device to measure the driver’s blood alcohol level. If the driver’s levels exceed the threshold, the car will not start.

A drunk driving conviction can result in serious long-term consequences. A criminal defense attorney can help defend against drunk driving charges and potentially help one avoid these serious penalties.