What Is the Punishment for a Maryland DUI?

A charge of driving under the influence (DUI) is very serious. If convicted of a DUI, you may lose your license for up to a year and face up to three years in jail. Contact a seasoned Glen Burnie attorney as soon as you are arrested for a DUI so you can minimize or avoid penalties and punishment.

Administrative Penalties

You may refuse any field tests—like walking heel-to-toe or a preliminary breath test—at the scene of the DUI arrest without penalty. However, Maryland imposes automatic administrative penalties on drivers suspected of driving under the influence who refuse to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test at the police station. Maryland also imposes automatic administrative sanctions on drivers whose test results reveal a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Penalties for refusal to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test at the police station include the following:

  • First offense: 120-day license suspension or one-year ignition interlock—your car will start only after you pass an in-car breath test
  • Second and subsequent offenses: one-year license suspension

Penalties for test results showing a BAC of .08 or higher include the following:

  • First offense: 60-day license suspension
  • Second and subsequent offenses: one-year license suspension

In both cases it may be possible to avoid these severe sanctions by requesting a hearing within ten days of the offense.

Contact experienced Bowie attorneys to handle your DUI arrest as soon as you reach the police station. You have to choose between automatic administrative penalties for refusing to submit to testing and avoiding higher administrative penalties but providing evidence that may be used against you in court. Learn how a drunk driving attorney in Maryland can help you with your case.

Criminal Penalties for Maryland DUIs

Criminal penalties for DUIs and DWIs include fines, jail time, probation, court-mandated community service, and license suspension or revocation. The severity of the criminal penalties depends in part on how high your BAC was at the time of your arrest.

  • First offense, BAC below .08: up to a $500 fine, up to 60 days in jail, and/or 60-day driver’s license suspension
  • First offense, BAC .08 or higher: up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and/or six-month driver’s license revocation
  • Second offense, BAC below .08: up to a $500 fine, up to one year in jail, and/or up to one-year driver’s license suspension
  • Second offense, BAC .08 or higher: up to a $2,000 fine, up to two years in jail, and/or one-year driver’s license revocation
  • Third offense, BAC below .08: up to a $500 fine, up to one year in jail, and/or up to one-year driver’s license suspension
  • Third offense, BAC .08 or higher: up to a $2,000 fine, up to three years in jail, and/or one-year driver’s license revocation

Experienced DWI or DUI attorneys can help

If you are arrested for a DUI or DWI, contact Hartel, DeSantis & Howie LLP right away. In many cases, their experienced drunk driving lawyers in Hanover may be able to minimize the penalties against you, and may even be able to negotiate your offense to a probation before judgment, essentially leaving no trace on your criminal record. In some cases, their skilled attorneys may be able to have the charges dropped against you completely.

By Michael A. DeSantis | Published September 5, 2012