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What possible consequences does a DUI in Maryland carry?

The number of people arrested every year for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol keeps rising. Most people don't think about what a DUI conviction can entail until they are arrested.

Laws around DUIs vary by state. However, one thing that's consistent across the 50 states and Washington, D.C. is the legal limit. Any adult who is driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher is breaking the law. Maryland, like all states, also has "zero tolerance" laws for drivers under 21 that basically make it illegal to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system.

One of the primary concerns of anyone who's arrested for DUI is whether they'll have to serve jail time if they're convicted or if they pleaded guilty. If it's a first offense, the DUI didn't involve a crash or injury to anyone and assuming that you were cooperative with officers, you may be able to avoid serving time if you're convicted or admit guilt.

However, for second and subsequent DUI convictions, your chances of serving time and the length of that time increase. For example, two DUI convictions within five years mandate five days in jail. That doubles with a third conviction within five years of the previous one.

Most people's second biggest concern after the possibility of jail time is whether they'll lose their driving privileges. Your license will likely be suspended if you are determined to be driving while over the legal limit. However, Maryland, like many states, has an ignition interlock device (IID) program. If you agree to have one installed on your vehicle(s), your license may be returned to you provisionally. Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will authorize a special restricted license that allows you to drive during your suspension as long as there's an IID in your vehicle.

It's also important to know that if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer or similar test to determine your BAC, your license will automatically be suspended for nine months. A second instance of refusing such a test may cost you your license for six months.

If you're arrested for DUI, it's worthwhile to seek the help of a Maryland DUI attorney. They know what options are available for questioning the reliability of evidence like Breathalyzer results. If you're facing a conviction, they may be able to mitigate the short-term and long-term consequences to your life.

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