Maryland DUI or DWI arrests trigger two separate cases: the administrative driver's license action, where a person's driving privileges may be lost, and the court case, where a variety of DUI punishment and penalties await those convicted of drunk driving in Maryland.
More articles on DUI Laws in Maryland
For anyone charged with drunk driving, DUI or DWI in Maryland, it is vital to note that persons arrested for DUI have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings, located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. (Also, don't forget to include a check for $125 made payable to the Maryland State Treasurer.) If someone arrested for drunk driving or DUI does not request the hearing on time, their license will be suspended, automatically.
Maryland drinking and driving arrests are most commonly known as DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while impaired). The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level violating Maryland's DUI or DWI laws have been lowered; it is now much easier to be caught for drunk driving in Maryland. A blood alcohol level of .08 or higher will result in a DUI arrest; a blood alcohol level of .07 will result in an arrest for DWI. A refusal to take the breath test can now be admitted into evidence at a DUI trial as consciousness of guilt.
Maryland DUI is prosecuted under two different theories: that the defendant is under the influence of alcohol, which is where the driver's normal coordination has been substantially impaired as a result of the consumption of alcohol, or by violating Maryland's "per se" law of driving with .08% or more BAC (blood alcohol level), regardless of driving ability or impairment.
Maryland DUI (driving under the influence) consequences include a minimum driver's license suspension of 45 days, and punishment of up to $1,000.00 and one year in jail for a first offense DUI, and $2,000.00 and two years in jail for a second offense DUI. A Maryland DUI conviction will result in 12 points on the Maryland Driver's License record.
Maryland DWI (driving while impaired), while a lesser offense to a Maryland DUI (driving under the influence) still has very harsh consequences, including a driver's license suspension of up to 60 days, 8 points on the Maryland Driver's License record, up to $500 and two months in jail for a first offense, and up to $500.00 and one year in jail for a second offense.
A refusal to take the breath test in Maryland may result in a 120-day driver's license suspension, plus the refusal may be admissible in court against those accused of violating Maryland DUI or DWI laws.
DUI and DWI arrests of persons from other states will still require a Maryland MVA Hearing to protect their driving privileges. Maryland is a member of the Interstate Driver's License Compact, which shares information about DUI convictions and driver's license actions with other member states. There are 45 states that belong to this compact.
If you, or someone you care about, have been arrested for drunk driving, it is vital to contact a Maryland DUI lawyer as soon as possible, most initial consultation are always FREE.