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Understanding Maryland’s DUI and DWI laws

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drug Charges

Maryland residents can benefit from understanding the state’s laws in relation to driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence. When one is convicted of a crime related to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the results can be devastating. Not only may one face jail time, but this type of conviction can also cause issues with one’s professional life and personal life.  

What are the laws? 

In Maryland DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is a lesser offense than driving under the influence. DWI convictions happen when the prosecutor can prove that a driver was impaired by drugs, legal or illegal, or alcohol. Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a more serious offense and it happens when one is convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher or driving while impaired by a controlled substance. 

The penalties for a first DUI conviction may include a fine of up to $1,000, one year of jail time, and a six-month driver’s license revocation. For a first-time DWI conviction, one may face a fine of up to $500, up to two months of jail time, and a six-month license suspension. With each repeat conviction, the fines, jail time, and license revocation or suspension become more serious. 

Legal help when accused of DUI or DWI 

Every driver has the right to seek legal advice when accused of a crime related to driving under the influence or while impaired. Maryland residents should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after their arrest to learn about the best defense strategy based on their circumstances. Facing a charge of DUI or DWI can be scary so it’s important for an individual to seek help from someone who knows the laws in the state.