Maryland law establishes two types of drunk driving crimes. Driving under the influence charges result from measured blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher at the time of the arrest. With driving while impaired charges, the officer simply must show that the driver showed drug or alcohol impairment behind the wheel.
Prepare for a DUI or DWI court date by reviewing the possible legal penalties for these charges.
If you have no previous DUI convictions, you could receive a license suspension for up to six months, up to $1,000 in fines and up to 12 months in jail for a DUI. A DWI carries the same license suspension penalties along with up to $500 in fines and up to two months in jail.
A second-time DUI conviction in the same five-year period can result in a license suspension for up to nine months, up to $2,000 in fines and up to two years in jail. The repeat DWI penalties include up to a year in jail and up to $500 in fines along with the nine-month license suspension.
For a third DUI conviction in the same five-year period, you could receive up to five years in jail along with up to $5,000 in fines and license suspension for up to a year. A third DWI carries the same penalties as a third DUI.
If you had a passenger who was younger than 18 at the time of the arrest, the court can add up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines to your existing DUI or DWI charges. The judge will double these added penalties for a subsequent offense involving an underage passenger.
If you refuse a breath test in Maryland, the officer can seize your license. In this case, you have 10 days to file a hearing to avoid license suspension.