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Celebrate Oktoberfest, but don't get a DUI

It's time for Oktoberfest and that means it's time for beer. While celebrating all things beer, many people will choose to have more than one beer and others will choose to have many more than one beer.

No matter how little or how much is consumed, festival-goers would be wise to keep track of how much alcohol they consume when attending an Oktoberfest celebration. Police will be out in full force trying to keep the public safe, and getting arrested for a DUI is nothing to celebrate.

The many dangers and consequences of a DUI

According to DMV.org, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% and higher is cause for a DUI charge in the state of Maryland. Your first DUI carries penalties including a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, getting your license revoked for up to six months and 12 points on your driving record.

Penalties for a second DUI charge include a $2,000 fine, up to two years in jail - the first five days of which are mandatory, license revocation for up to one year plus a mandatory ignition interlock, 12 points on your record, and mandatory substance abuse assessment along with a treatment program.

The consequences of being charged with a DUI don't end there. Your DUI record can lead to the inability to find gainful employment and have a negative impact on your credit rating - and your reputation. More obvious dangers of a DUI include the possibility that you'll be in an accident and cause injury to yourself or others.

Tips to avoid a DUI

  • Don't ever drive if you are drunk.
  • If you plan to have several drinks, arrange for transportation in advance. With the prevalence of taxis, Lyft, Uber, and sober friends and family, there is no excuse for drinking and driving.
  • A BAC of .08% or higher is cause for a DUI charge and .07% is cause for a DWI in Maryland. Keep track of how much you drink and stay under the limit.
  • Be extra careful driving. This is for safety purposes and should not be considered a way "not to get caught." Reckless driving is never okay.
  • If you're not good at monitoring your drinks or don't know how to calculate your BAC, consider purchasing a personal breathalyzer. Although they are not necessarily 100% reliable, they can help you stay aware of how much you're drinking.

If you do find yourself charged with a DUI this call, seek legal counsel. An attorney can guide you through the DEUI defense process, make sure law enforcement has acted properly, and represent you in court.

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