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Legal consequences of a DUI or DWI in Maryland

Looking at the statistics on traffic fatalities in Maryland reveals that the number of alcohol-related deaths is declining. Those in the state legislature continue to review the data and, in response, enact or amend laws that levy serious penalties for those convicted of a DUI or DWI.

Either charge could lead to both criminal and civil penalties, which can be severe. However, lawmakers set up the system so that a driver with a DUI or DWI conviction can recover from the consequences.

Possible penalties

The lesser charge is driving while impaired, which may result in a fine of up to $500, two months in jail and a driver's license suspension of six months. Driving under the influence of alcohol is the more severe criminal offense. In addition to a fine of up to $1,000, penalties may include as much as a year in jail, and the person's driver's license will either be suspended or revoked.

Next steps

A DUI attorney can provide information and advice regarding the consequences a driver will face for either DUI or DWI. The outcome will depend on any prior record he or she might have, the BAC level at the time of the arrest and how serious the circumstances were that led to the arrest. The civil portion will involve an administrative hearing before the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration where the effects of the conviction on the person's driving privileges will be addressed.

The alcohol program

The revocation of a driver's license because of either DUI or DWI means the offender will have to attend the Alcohol Education Program before becoming eligible to apply for a new license. Part of the program is physiological in nature: An analysis of the participant reveals if there is a more serious issue related to alcohol consumption, such as a dependency problem. A person can also have the required ignition interlock device installed and calibrated through the program.

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