A police officer can stop a driver if they suspect that the driver is impaired. With the holiday season upon us and many of us enjoying the festivities, it is possible that some motorists will get behind the wheel after having a drink or two. It is important to drink and drive responsibly, but at the same time it is crucial to be aware of the legal consequences of what could happen if one is suspected of drunk driving and fails to mount an aggressive defense.
The first thing to know is what constitutes drunk driving in Maryland. If a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (the amount of alcohol present in 100 milliliters volume of blood) is .08 percent or higher, that driver is considered guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI.
For a first DUI offense, a convicted individual must pay a $1,000 fine, spend up to one year in jail, lose 12 points off their driving license, and the driving license can be revoked for up to six months. The penalties get more severe with each successive offense. A second DUI offense results in a $2,000 fine, a mandatory five day prison sentence with the maximum being two years, license revocation for up to a year, and mandatory participation in an alcohol abuse and assessment program. In addition to this, depending on the time between the two offenses, it could even mean participation in the ignition interlock program.
These penalties should be taken seriously, as they can affect many aspects of a Maryland resident’s livfe. It can become difficult to commute to work and meet family members without a vehicle. Additionally, an arrest and jail time lands on one’s record and can affect the individual’s job and even residential prospects. For these reasons, it could be beneficial to challenge a drunk driving charge, starting from the reason of the initial stop to the results of the BAC test. An experienced attorney may be able to guide Maryland residents through the process.
Source: Maryland Department of Transportation, “Maryland Impaired Driving Laws,” accessed on Dec. 29, 2015