Once you have reached the legal age, you are now allowed to engage in a number of adult activities in Maryland including drinking alcohol. However, you should be mindful that once you have consumed excess alcohol, you must not drive your vehicle since you can be charged with a criminal offense if you get pulled over by a police officer. Drunk driving can lead to serious repercussions including accidents that often cause serious injuries and fatalities. Drunk driving is not tolerated in Maryland; the state imposes tough penalties upon conviction.
As a driver, you have to know the difference between a DUI and DWI charge so you know how to deal with them in case you get arrested for these similar offenses. You can be charged with driving under the influence or DUI if you registered 0.08 percent blood alcohol content in a breath test. A DUI offense can lead to automatic license revocation and 12 points on your license. Aside from license revocation, you can also be fined $1,000 for a first offense and $2,000 for subsequent offenses. Driving while intoxicated or DWI, on the other hand, is a charge that arises from failing to pass a field sobriety test. You can also be charged with DWI if you had a BAC level of 0.07 during the arrest. You can be fined $500 for both a first and second DWI offense.
The difference between DUI and DWI are the fines as well as the license revocation. If you were charged with a less serious offense such as DWI, you still have to deal seriously with your case in order to avoid paying fines and other consequences.
You may discuss your case with a knowledgeable legal professional who can help explain your rights and craft a solid defense on your behalf.
Source: Dmv.org, "DUI & DWI in Maryland," accessed on Oct. 21, 2014