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Penalties and consequences of a DUI in Maryland

Individuals facing drunk driving charges face both criminal penalties and administrative sanctions which can be serious. It is important to know how to combat these charges and to understand the potential penalties and consequences faced when accused of drunk driving. Criminal penalties can include jail time and fines and administrative penalties can include driver's license suspension and revocation. The potential penalties and consequences, of course, can have a significant impact on the accused individual professionally, personally and financially.

For a first DUI offense in Maryland, the accused individual potentially faces 1 year in jail; a $1,000 fine; and driver's license revocation up to 6 months. For a second DUI offense, the accused individual faces up to two years in prison with a mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail; a $2,000 fine; and their driver's license may be revoked for up to 1 year. If the accused individual has 2 DUI convictions in five years, a mandatory driver's license suspension will be followed by a minimum period to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Participation in an alcohol abuse assessment program may also be required.

Alternately, for a first DWI offense, the accused individual faces up to 2 months in jail; a $500 fine; and a 6-month long driver's license suspension. Drivers under the age of 21, engaged in underage drinking and driving, face a 1-year long driver's license suspension. For a second DWI offense, the accused individual faces up to 1 year in jail; and $500 fine; and a driver's license suspension ranging from 9 to 12 months. Drivers under the age of 21 face a 2-years long driver's license suspension. Potential penalties can increase with the number of offenses.

Because drunk driving charges in Maryland can lead to potential incarceration and loss of a driver's license, severely impacting the accused individual's mobility and freedom, it is essential to understand options to challenge the charges faced. If any of the facts or police conduct are in question, it may form the basis of a criminal defense so it is important to know how to develop a strong criminal defense strategy when facing DUI charges.

Source: Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, "Maryland Impaired Driving Laws," Accessed March 28, 2018

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