If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in Maryland, there’s a good chance this is your first encounter with the arrest process. It can be frightening and if you’re like most people, you won’t know what to do. Once you’re stopped, the officer will ask for your driver’s license and registration, which you should supply readily. If you are suspected of driving while impaired or intoxicated, you may be asked to step out of the car and perform some field sobriety tests. You are familiar with the nature of them – they’ll involve walking in a straight line, closing your eyes and touching your nose, etc. Possibly not those two, but the exercises will be similar. It is your legal right in Maryland to refuse to participate. However, a refusal to take a breath test can cause an automatic suspension of your license, and the refusal can be entered as evidence in the court case against you. Once you’ve been placed under arrest, your license will be confiscated and you will be handcuffed and driven to the police station where you will be fingerprinted, photographed and processed.
With your arrest, you will be faced with two cases against you simultaneously. One is the court case which will deal with incarceration, fines, fees and remedial training programs. The other is an administrative case which will handle the suspension and reinstatement of your driver’s license. The law is complicated and you should not try to face the process alone. You need a qualified local DUI attorney to stand by your side and fight for your rights. A DUI or DWI conviction on your record is permanent and can have significant consequences. In addition to affecting your family and friends, you could lose time off from work or possibly lose your job altogether. If you have any particular licenses associated with your work, those could also be affected. Don't take a chance with your freedom and your future. Contact a local DUI attorney today for a free consultation and get your questions answered.
If you are arrested outside your home state, be sure to ask your attorney how this law will impact you.
The penalties listed below are called for by statute, are not complete, and can often be removed or reduced significantly with the assistance of a local Maryland DUI attorney.Maryland uses two designations to define the action of driving with alcohol in your system. You will be charged with a DWI (driving while impaired) if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is .07. If your BAC is .08 or higher, you will be charged with DUI. The two have different sets of penalties and fines and both are aggressively punitive:
FIRST OFFENSE PENALTIES
● Incarceration – up to one year in jail for DUI and up to 60 days for DWI.
● Fines – up to $1,000 for DUI and up to $500 for DWI
● License Suspension – 45 days for DUI and 60 days for DWI
● License Points – 12 license points for DUI and 8 for DWI
ASSOCIATED COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
● Bail – at discretion of the court, dependent on alcohol content and number of offenses
● Towing - tow fee $75 to $100, with additional daily charges while your vehicle is in storage.
● Insurance - You’ll be required to carry your SR22 insurance plan for three years. You will be designated as a high risk driver and your insurance rates will rise significantly, often more than a $1500 per year increase..
● Ignition Interlock Device – Required in some cases. You’ll be required to start car 50 times per 30 days to avoid a violation for low number of starts. Device will need to be recalibrated once per month and you will be responsible for installation, rent and all associated costs of the device.
● Education – In some cases you may be required to attend DUI school at your cost.
● Record – A DWI conviction will remain on driving record permanently
● Employment – Offender may lose time off work and possibly even their job.
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified local DUI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. It is possible your case can be won with the right representation.