Drunk Driving Defense Laws in Maryland
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. Drunk driving laws are different in every state. It is important to ask a local Maryland DUI defense attorney for legal advice about your case.
Maryland Drunk Driving Laws
Maryland breaks down drunk driving into two classes: driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI).
- DUI occurs when a person is driving or attempts to drive while impaired to a substantial extent or has a BAC of .08% or more.
- DWI has a lower burden of proof, only requiring the court to prove that the person’s normal coordination was impaired to some extent or that they had a BAC of .07% or less.
Implied Consent: Yes
Enhanced Penalties: Prior offenses within the past five years; having a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle; BAC of .15% or more; causing serious bodily harm or death
DUI has more serious consequences, and the maximum penalties depend on the number of prior offenses such as:
- First offense: no more than 1-year imprisonment; a $1,000 fine; a six-month license suspension; and six months of an ignition interlock device (IID).
- Second offense: not more than two years imprisonment; a $2,000 fine; a nine-month license suspension; and one year of an ignition interlock device.
- Third offense: not more than five years imprisonment; a $5,000 fine; a one-year license suspension; and three years of an IID.
Impaired Driving in Maryland
Before beginning your defense against drunk driving charges, it is important that you are familiar with the DUI laws in the state of Maryland. You can be charged with drunk driving if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent. Authorities typically administer a chemical test to determine your BAC.
For drivers who are under 21 years of age, the BAC limitations are even more stringent. If an underage driver tests at 0.02 percent BAC, then they can be arrested and charged with DUI. Maryland is also what is known as an implied consent state. This means that if you want to drive on a public highway, it is implied that you are consenting to take a chemical test if an officer arrests you for drunken driving.
Defending Against Maryland DUI Charges
Every DUI case is different, and every case requires a unique defense strategy to suit the defendant and the facts of the case. Common strategies involve challenging the evidence brought against you by the prosecution. In some cases, a drunk driving charge could be thrown out if the officer did not have a valid legal basis to make the traffic stop.
Another option is a plea agreement, where you may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges or punishments. If you have been accused of drunk driving, you may want to begin searching for a drunk driving defense attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you decide the best course of action to proceed with your case, and they can help you formulate the best strategy to defend yourself on your charges.