Were You Charged With a DUI or DWI?
The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers over 21 in Maryland is .08%. If you are found driving while having a BAC of this level or higher, you can be charged with driving under the influence or DUI. If your BAC is between .05 and .07, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated or DWI. This is a lesser infraction but still serious.
Maryland DUI Penalties
Drunk driving is punished harshly in the state, even for a first offense.
A first DUI offense can lead to up to one year in jail, fine up to $1,000, six-month suspension of your driver’s license, and 12 points on your driving record.
A first DWI offense can result in up to two months in jail, fine up to $500, six-month suspension of your driver’s license and 8 points on your driving record.
A second DUI offense is punishable by up to two years in jail and $2000 in fines; one year license suspension and 12 points on your driving record.
A third DUI offense carries up to three years in prison, fines up to $3,000, 12 points on your driving record and revocation of your license.
Eligibility for Probation Before Judgment for First Time Offenders
If you have no prior DUI convictions or older DUI convictions, you may be eligible for a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ). If a judge grants you probation before a judgment you are immediately placed on probation and the finding of guilt is stricken. The terms of your probation may include alcohol treatment program, community service, etc. Charges receiving probabion before judgment can later be expunged. This means you can say that you were never convicted of a DUI/DWI while protecting your driving privileges and insurance rates.
Challenge Driver’s License Suspension
In addition to criminal penalties associated with a DUI, you are subject to administrative penalties – namely a suspension of your driver’s license. You will be given a temporary permit that is good for 45 days from the date of your arrest. One of the first things we can do in a DUI/DWI case is request a hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) within 10 days of your arrest to challenge the suspension. We can represent you at this hearing and advocate for you to keep your license. At the very least, we will try to get you a restricted license.
Building a Winning DUI Defense
Even if your BAC was above the legal limit, there are defense strategies we can employ to secure an optimal outcome. Here are just a few:
- Determine whether your traffic stop or arrest was lawful
- Scrutinize whether the officer followed the proper procedures outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when conducting the field sobriety tests
- Challenge the blood alcohol test results
- Was the test administered within the required time period?
- Was the breathalyzer administered/calibrated correctly?
- Do you suffer from a medical condition such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease that may have caused an inaccurate reading?
- Did you burp, belch, or use cough syrup, mouthwash, that may have contaminated your breath sample?
- Was a proper chain of custody established during the collection and testing of your blood sample?