According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2,000 Maryland residents died in crashes due to drunk drivers between 2003 and 2013. More recent reports have shown that Maryland is leading the flock in greatly reducing drunk driving deaths. The Maryland Highway Safety Office reported that in 2016 they issued 4,232 citations and arrested 528 impaired drivers. Between 2013 and 2016, their troopers arrested over 2,000 impaired drivers from Maryland roads and the number is quickly growing. Maryland has also been one of the leading states in passing serious penalties that escalate in severity for multiple DUI offenders. If police arrest you for a DUI, you can face harsh consequences.
Across the Board Consequences of a DUI
Whether you are facing charges for the first time or not, Maryland treats DUI convictions as not just moving infractions but misdemeanor crimes. This means that a DUI conviction carries both license sanctions and criminal penalties. In addition, penalties are substantially higher for offenders transporting minors at the time of their offense. If you have a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will have a criminal record that will follow you everywhere you go. Potential employers could deny you because of your DUI conviction, and you can feel effects for years to come.
The criminal penalties assessed to first-time DUI offenders include $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. In addition to the criminal penalties, first-time offenders can get 12 points on their driving record and a potential six-month license suspension.
Upon your second offense, your criminal penalties can increase to $2,000 in fines and up to two years of imprisonment, with a mandatory five days in jail. In regard to the license sanctions, second-time offenders face the revocation of their license for up to one year and 12 points on their driving record. Under Maryland law, points on your driving record stay on your record for two years after the date of violation. If your infraction is within the two years of your previous points, this could you lead you to serious trouble. Once you’ve received 8-2 points on your driving record, you are in danger of having your license suspended or revoked entirely.
Two Convictions in Five Years
When you receive two convictions within five years, the court will order a mandatory period of license suspension. Following your suspension, the court will also order a minimum required period of participation in the Ignition Interlock Program. The Ignition Interlock Program requires drivers to drive with a breath-test device that will not allow the car to start unless their BAC level is under the permitted percentage.
Third-time offenders face a much higher penalty. They risk up to three years of jail time, up to $3,000 in fines, a minimum of an 18-month license suspension, and are required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.
How Can a Maryland DUI Defense Attorney Help?
Since a DUI in Maryland can carry harsh punishments, it is important that you consult a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. It is important to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience in defending DUI charges, whether you are a first-time offender or multiple offender. The top-rated Maryland attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, have more than 25 years of experience defending against criminal offenses. Schedule a free case evaluation at (866) 444-6363 or through our online contact form.