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James N. Papirmeister, P.C.

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What is the difference between DUI and DWI charges?

When drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having consumed a few alcoholic drinks, they may not be aware of how much their cognitive ability has been impaired. In fact, everybody metabolizes alcohol differently and therefore everyone's bodies react differently. However, under Maryland law, anyone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent is considered legally impaired. This means that they may face drunk driving charges and could ultimately be found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, known as DUI.

However, this is not to be confused with DWI charges, which are drunk driving charges as well, but of a slightly lesser nature. DWI means driving while impaired and these charges can be pursued when someone is found driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.07 percent or higher.

The consequences of a DUI and DWI are also different from one another. A first time DUI offense can lead to a $1,000 fine, up to a year in prison and a 12 points on a driving license. The driving license can also be revoked for up to 12 months. A first time DWI can result in a $500 fine, up to two months imprisonment and 8 points on the driving license. The driving license can be revoked for up to 120 days in this instance.

Understanding the nature of drunk driving charges is just the first step someone facing these charges can take. It is very important to consider fighting these charges aggressively from the onset, as a license revocation has the ability to affect a Maryland resident's livelihood and social activities.

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