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DUI in Maryland

DWI in Maryland

Maryland drinking and driving arrests are known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI). The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level violating Maryland's DUI or DWI law is .07% (DWI) or .08% and higher (DUI), which for some people could equal just two drinks. If the driver refuses to take the breath test, it is admitted as evidence of guilt in court. A refusal to submit to a breath test can result in driver's license suspension of 120 days.

This information will help you understand your role, your rights, your responsibilities and the possible penalties when drinking alcohol, using or possessing drugs and driving.

It is a privilege to drive, however, it comes with a great amount of responsibility. Drinking and driving leads to property damage, personal injury, death, family stress, financial strains, and loss of your freedom if convicted. Being involved in an accident is greatly increased when drinking and driving is combined. Drinking increases the risk of death from automobile crashes as well as recreational accidents. Both homicides and suicides are more likely committed by persons who have been drinking. Alcohol-related problems cost society approximately $185 billion per year. The costs cannot be calculated concerning the family and the one arrested.

Alcohol affects the brain of every driver in a different way. Some of those factors are:

  • When and what food the driver has consumed
  • The gender of the driver
  • The age of the driver
  • The health of the driver
  • Consumption of over-the counter medication
  • Consumption of prescription medication
  • Use of illegal drugs
  • How long and how much the driver has been drinking
  • Family history of alcoholism
  • Alcohol content of the drinks consumed

Some of the affects of alcohol use on the human body are difficulty walking, impaired memory, slurred speech, blurred vision, and slowed reaction times. Even moderate drinking leads to short-term impairment. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. Today's alcohol research is focusing on how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain. Heavy drinkers can also display the same patterns in driving as the drunk drivers even after they have gone without alcohol for hours.

What are my rights in the criminal justice system?
Your rights in the Courtroom:
Right Against Self-Incrimination
Right to Counsel 1st Appeal
No Cruel or Unusual Punishment
Prisoners Rights

In Maryland, the person arrested for DUI has only 10 days from the date of their arrest to request a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing from the Office of Administrative Hearings. If the request for a hearing is not submitted in those 10 days following the arrest, their license will be suspended. It is vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. You need someone that is knowledgeable in the court process and DUI/DWI laws. In Maryland, there are a variety of penalties and punishments awaiting anyone convicted of drunk driving.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI), in Maryland, can lead to driver's license suspension, one year in jail, and fines up to $1,000. If convicted of a second offense the driver's license will be suspended, fines go up to $2,000 and jail time increases to two years.

Driving While Impaired (DWI) is a different and lesser charge in Maryland, however, it still comes with serious consequences. Driving privileges will be suspended for up to 60 days, fines up to $500, and two months in jail. If it is the second offense the fines are up to $500 and jail time increases to one year, if convicted.

An arrest does not necessarily mean guilt. Remember, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt your guilt.

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