First Time DUI/DWI Offense in Maryland
What should I expect for my first time offense for a DUI in Maryland?
There are two separate consequences in Maryland when you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. First are license suspension consequences imposed by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) depending on your breath test refusal or results. Second are the criminal penalties imposed by a judge in the Maryland Court system. Finally, if you are convicted of DUI/DWI when you go to court, you face additional license suspension/revocation consequences imposed by the MVA.
How Long Will My License Be Suspended?
The length of license suspensions after a first DUI in Maryland vary based on your breath test (“Breathalyzer”) test results, also known as your blood alcohol content or BAC.
For breath test results over 0.08 but less than 0.15, 180 days; however, you are eligible for a restricted driver’s license allowing you to drive for employment, school, counseling, and medical purposes.
For breath test results of 0.15 or more, 180 days; however, the only restricted license available is the Interlock device for one year.
For breath or blood test refusals, 270 days. The only restricted license available is the Interlock device for one year.
All suspensions start 45 days after your arrest, unless you request a hearing challenging the suspension. That hearing request must be mailed within 10 days of your arrest. Please note that a hearing request is not always the best course of action–consult an attorney!
First Time DUI/DWI Criminal Penalties in MD
It is worth noting that a DUI and DWI are not considered the same thing in Maryland. Driving Under the Influence of alcohol (DUI) is the more serious crime and requires either a breath test result of 0.08 or more (“DUI Per Se”) or a finding that the alcohol the driver has consumed has substantially impaired the driver’s normal coordination.
For a first time offense of a DUI in Maryland, the maximum penalties are:
Up to 1 year jail time and/or $1,000 fine
For a first time offense of a DWI in Maryland, the maximum penalties are:
Up to 60 days jail time and/or a $500 fineDriving While Impaired (DWI) is considered a less serious crime and generally requires a breath test result between 0.07 and 0.08 (although police have charge drivers with breath tests as low as 0.04) or a finding that the alcohol the driver has consumed has impaired normal coordination..