Being pulled over for a DUI can be a terrifying and stressful experience, especially if it’s your first offense. After all, the average person doesn’t have an extensive DUI record, let alone a legal career, so you may be uncertain about which steps to take first. A single misstep in your defense strategy could result in costly penalties and a lasting mark on your criminal record. The best way to secure a positive case result, preserve your clean driving record, and safeguard your future is to understand Maryland’s complicated DUI laws and retain experienced legal representation.
Understanding Maryland’s Complicated DUI Laws
In Maryland, a driver can face DUI charges if their blood alcohol content level (BAC) is .08% or higher. Our state also has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving, so the legal BAC limit for anyone under the age of 21 is .02%. Likewise, a commercial driver can face DUI charges if they’re pulled over for a BAC level of .04%.
Most DUIs are classified as misdemeanors; however, you could face felony charges in the following scenarios:
- You injured or killed someone while intoxicated.
- You had an incredibly high BAC.
- Your license was suspended, restricted, or revoked before the incident.
What many well-intended people don’t know is that it isn’t enough just to pull over. You can be arrested for DUI even if you aren’t actively operating a motor vehicle – just sleeping in a running car or being parked with your ignition turned on can justify an arrest.
If convicted, a first-time offender could face the following legal penalties:
- Up to one year in jail
- $1,000 fine
- License suspension for 6 months (test failure of at least .08%)
- License suspension for 270 days (refusal to take a chemical test)
- Mandatory ignition interlock device
- 12 points on your DMV record
- Mark on your criminal record
Explore Your Legal Options Today
To avoid a life-changing conviction, you need to work with an experienced DUI attorney who can investigate your case, collect critical evidence, and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf. At Alpert Schreyer Poe, our trial-tested DUI defense lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of Maryland’s criminal justice system and the laws that define and influence DUI litigation. For example, we can examine the prosecution’s evidence to determine if the police followed the proper testing procedures before making the arrest. Most importantly, we can streamline and untangle this complicated legal process to make sure you always have a firm understanding of how your case is progressing. If your goal is to secure a charge reduction, case dismissal, or acquittal, contact the legal team at Alpert Schreyer Poe today.