Regardless of who you are, you are entitled to your day in court and to defend yourself against charges in a legal proceeding. The same is true for anyone who has been accused of drunk driving charges in Maryland.
Before beginning your defense against drunk driving charges, though, it is important that you are familiar the DUI laws in the state of Maryland. Generally speaking, you can be charged with drunk driving if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent. Authorities typically administer a breathalyzer test to determine your BAC, which could trigger an arrest.
For drivers who are under 21 years of age, the BAC limitations are even more stringent. If an underage individual tests at 0.02 percent BAC, then he or she can be arrested and charged with DUI. Maryland is also what is known as an implied consent state, meaning that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, and an officer suspects you are inebriated, you could be arrested on the spot.
Just like every other state, Maryland has its own unique set of DUI punishments for those who are convicted of the charges. If it is your first conviction, you could face a 60-day driver’s license suspension. If it is your second conviction, you could face a 120-day suspension. You will also be required to take an alcohol education course; and, you may be subjected to an alcohol assessment and treatment. Additionally, there is the possibility that the court will order your vehicle to be equipped with an ignition interlock device, requiring you to blow into a device that monitors the alcohol content of your blood before your car will start.
Every DUI case is different and every case requires a unique defense strategy to suit the defendant and the facts of the case. However, there are some common strategies that a defense attorney might utilize.
One defense involves entering a plea of not guilty and challenging the evidence brought against you by the prosecution. In some cases, a drunk driving charge could be thrown out if it is deemed that the initial traffic stop was carried out without just cause. You may also prevail by challenging breathalyzer, blood, urine and other test data that shows an incriminating BAC level. There are other defense strategies — such as casting doubt upon an officer or witness's testimony — that could also be employed.
Another option is to enter a guilty plea. By entering into a plea bargain with prosecutors, you may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges or punishments, such as a lessening of fines, a shortened license suspension, or receive other kinds of benefits.
If you have been accused of drunk driving, you may want to begin searching for a drunk driving defense attorney sooner rather than later. A lawyer can help you decide the best course of action to proceed with in your case, and he or she can help you formulate the best strategy to defend against your charges.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified drunk driving lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local drunk driving attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.