In our last post, we began looking at the results of a recent survey examining the way each state handles DUI offenders. The focus of the study was particularly how strict each state is with respect to criminal penalties and how proactive in preventing DUI. Here we wanted to provide some of the specific findings of the survey for Maryland.
As the survey points out, no minimum jail time is allotted for a first DUI offense in Maryland, though there is a minimum of five days incarceration upon a second offense. There are no minimum fines imposed on first- or second-time offenders. Unlike many other states, Maryland does not upgrade DUI to a felony after multiple convictions. Previous DUI convictions affect penalties for 5 years, a relatively short period of time. Administrative license suspensions are imposed on drivers for a period of at least 45 days, also a relatively short period. Maryland does not use vehicle impoundment.
In terms of DUI prevention, we saw that Maryland scored slightly higher. The state does impose mandatory ignition interlock device use on first time offenders who had a blood alcohol concentration of at least .15, and the device must be used for at least one year. All drunk drivers who have a BAC of .15 or more are subject to increased penalties.
Maryland also imposes mandatory alcohol assessments on DUI offenders, and makes use of “no refusal” enforcement efforts and sobriety checkpoints. The state also imposes penalties for child endangerment in DUI cases. In terms of insurance rates, the average rate of increase is 51 percent.
As we’ve seen, Maryland registers as a relatively lenient state when it comes to DUI penalties and consequences, all things considered. That being said, defendants should always seek to work with an experienced attorney when building a criminal defense case. Doing so ensures that their rights will be protected and that they’ll have the best shot at minimizing the consequences of DUI charges.