The penalties for drunk driving are largely dependent on the charge being brought against the driver. In Maryland, an intoxicated driver can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Impaired (DWI).
The maximum penalties for Driving While Under the Influence are 1 year incarceration and $1,000 for the first offense, 2 years and $2,000 for a second such offense, and 3 years and $3,000 for a third offense.
Although technically a lesser offense, Driving While Impaired is serious nonetheless. The penalty for a first offense are a maximum 60 days incarceration and/or $500 fine and 8 points on the driver’s record. The second offense carries in a maximum of 1 year incarceration and/or $500 fine, and 12 points.
In addition to the court imposed penalties, convicted DUI or DWI offenders must also contend with penalties imposed by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The MVA may attempt to suspend the license of every driver who has a BAC of 0.08 or more, or who refuses a breathalyzer. If a driver’s BAC is between 0.08 and 0.149, their license can be suspended for 45 days; if the test result is 0.15 and above, their license can be suspended for 90 days; and if the licensee refuses the breathalyzer, their license can be suspended for 120 days.
It is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney to determine whether if there are any defenses to the charges or suspensions being imposed. A lawyer can also help determine whether or not to challenge the action by the MVA. In many cases a Maryland DUI attorney can fight for lesser charges or help lower the penalties.
For more information about the penalties imposed on drivers convicted of a DUI or DWI, please contact Arthur S. Alperstein, Andrew I. Alperstein, Christopher P. Wheatcroft, Robert H. Wolf, and Warren S. Alperstein at Alperstein & Diener, LLC.