Maryland Criminal DUI Law

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Maryland Criminal DUI Attorneys

If you are facing DUI charges in Maryland, it is important to understand the relevant laws and penalties. Maryland state code § 21-902 governs DUI cases and is divided into subsections to address different situations. § 21-902(a)(1) and § 21-902(a)(2) pertain to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, while § 21-902(b) addresses Driving While Impaired by Alcohol (DWI). When charged with DUI or DWI, seeking the assistance of a Maryland DUI lawyer is crucial to mount a strong defense, challenge the evidence, and ensure that proper procedures were followed during your arrest.


Maryland distinguishes between DUI and DWI charges under Transportation § 21-902. A DUI charge applies when a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures 0.08% or higher. A DWI charge requires a lower burden of proof, indicating that the individual’s coordination was affected by drugs or alcohol. Consulting an experienced attorney promptly is essential to navigate DUI or DWI charges effectively.

Penalties for DUI

For a DUI offense, the maximum penalty is one year of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000 for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders face harsher sentences.

Penalties for DWI

A DWI conviction may result in a maximum jail term of 60 days and a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenses increase the severity of penalties. Your DUI lawyer will consider your prior charges and tailor a solid defense strategy accordingly.

On-Scene Indicators

To establish that a driver was intoxicated, officers may administer a breathalyzer test to measure the BAC. Refusal to take the test can be used as evidence of intoxication. Standard field sobriety tests, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and one-leg stand tests, may also be used. Your Maryland DUI lawyer will review the test results to build your defense.

Consequences of Refusing or Failing a Sobriety Test

Refusing or failing a sobriety test can lead to a license suspension. A BAC of 0.08% or higher results in a 180-day suspension, while a BAC of 0.15% or higher incurs the same suspension period for a first offense. Refusing a test leads to an automatic 270-day suspension or a two-year suspension for previous convictions. Seeking a hearing within 10 days can help challenge the suspension.

Penalties for Repeat Offenders

Maryland imposes harsher penalties for repeat DUI offenders. A second DUI conviction within five years requires a minimum of five days in jail, with a maximum fine of $2,000 and a two-year jail term. Third offenses can result in up to $3,000 in fines and three years in prison. Repeat DWI convictions carry a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and one year of incarceration. Additional penalties may include community service, probation, home detention, or mandatory attendance at a Victim Impact Panel.

Additional License Suspensions

Conviction for a DWI or DUI may result in a license suspension. The judge determines the suspension based on the specifics of the case and the offender’s prior offenses.

Statistics in Maryland for DUIs and DWIs

In 2010, Maryland reported 18,526 DUI arrests, including 122 arrests of individuals under 18. Approximately one-third had a BAC of 0.08% to 0.14%, while the rest had a BAC of 0.15% or higher. A total of 154 fatalities were attributed to DUI charges, with around 10% involving individuals under 21.

When facing DUI or DWI charges, relying on an experienced Maryland DUI defense lawyer is crucial. They will analyze the details of your case and employ effective legal strategies to achieve a favorable outcome in your trial.