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DWI penalties and license issues loom for underage drinkers

If you are under the age of 21, you probably enjoy partying with friends, and you may be no stranger to alcohol consumption.

You might only have a couple of beers now and then, but if you follow imbibing with driving, you run the risk that law enforcement will arrest you on suspicion of DWI.

DWI basics

Compared to driving under the influence, the charge of driving while impaired is a lesser offense, but it still carries significant penalties under Maryland law. If you are under 21 years of age and have received a DWI conviction, your fine may be as much as $500. If you violate your alcohol restriction, installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle will be automatic. If you should choose not to participate in the IID program, the penalty is driver's license suspension.

Phony ID problems

You may have secured a fake ID, presumably to gain admittance to bars or to purchase alcohol at the liquor store. If law enforcement catches you with the phony ID, you will not only pay a fine of up to $500, you could also go to jail for up to two months. You will have 12 points added to your driving record, and your license may either be suspended or revoked altogether. If law enforcement catches you attempting to sell fake IDs, you could be looking at a fine of up to $2,000 as well as two years in jail for every ID you have sold.

Facing court

If you face DWI charges, you will have to appear in court. If you receive a conviction, a record of it will go on your driving record along with any assessed points. Points are important. The accumulation of eight to 11 will result in license suspension. If you accumulate 12 points or more, you face license revocation. In brief, the penalties for driving while impaired can be harsh, even for an underage driver.

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
8630 Fenton St., Suite 320
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Office Number: 301-589-2100
Afterhours Number: 301-367-6500

Fax: 301-588-8848
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013