Spring break: For many, it was a time to enjoy a weeklong break from studying and lectures. With just a few months left of the spring semester, the countdown to summer has officially begun.
Unfortunately, though, during your Spring Break, you may have run into a few legal issues. Maybe after that third beer you drove home. Or you accidentally swerved and now police are trying to claim you were drunk. Whatever the cause of the traffic stop, if you are facing your first ever drunk driving charge, know that you are not alone. Thousands of other college students have been in your exact same situation before.
If this is your first ever DUI charge, there are a few things you should know.
- No. 1: Take this seriously. Do not mistakenly think that it's not a big deal, or that a judge will give you a pass since it's your first time. Rather, reach out to an attorney right away.
- No. 2: The penalties for a DUI are harsh in Maryland. Even for a first-time offense, you are looking at possible driver's license suspension, jail time and expensive fines. Add to the possible consequences the reality of higher insurance rates and you could be paying for a DUI conviction for years to come.
- No. 3: Even if you were below the legal .08 driving limit, you can still be charged with DUI. The officer just needs to think you were too intoxicated to drive in order to arrest you.
- No. 4: What police claim or the results of the traffic stop are not the final say. The results from a Breathalyzer can be challenged, as can blood test results. Even the validity of the stop itself can be challenged.
With so much riding on a first time DUI, do not leave anything to chance. Rather, it is best to start working with a criminal defense attorney right away, to start to build the best defense possible.