Drunk Driving

Maryland DWI Lawyers – Introduction to DUI in Maryland

You hear about drunk driving arrests every day, but no one ever thinks it will happen to them. When it happens, a DUI arrest in Maryland or any other state is scary, stressful, and intimidating—plain and simple. A DUI arrest can change your life for the worse, leaving a negative impact on your immediate future and following you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, a DUI arrest isn’t the same as a conviction, and you can fight the charges against you.

From the moment police arrested you, the clock began ticking, and events and deadlines fell into place—you may have 10 days from the date of your arrest to save your driver’s license, you may have to attend a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing to fight for your driving privileges, and you will face a criminal court date.

Although you probably feel overwhelmed—and may want to put your arrest out of your mind and “deal with it later”—you must act fast to take the necessary steps to help save your license, protect your legal rights, and fight the criminal charges against you. We can help.

Blood Alcohol Content

In Maryland, if the officer who stops you believes that you drove under the influence, the officer can request that you submit to either a field sobriety test or to a Breathalyzer test. If your test results in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent, or if you refuse to submit to the test in the first place, you’ll receive—along with your traffic citation—an Order of Suspension. In that case, the attending officer will issue you a temporary paper license (in effect for 45 days) and confiscate your official Maryland driver’s license.

DUI Conviction: The Basics

In Maryland, most DUI convictions are misdemeanors, which means that, although they’re not felonies, they’re criminal convictions and are, thus, extremely serious. In Maryland, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol (DUI)—or with a BAC of more than 0.08 percent. If the court finds you violated this law, you face a sentence of a year in jail, revocation of your driver’s license for as long as six months, a hit of 12 points on your license, and a $1,000 fine. Any one of these—on its own—is serious, and in combination, they can leave devastating effects.

The Personal Ramifications of a DUI Conviction

While you no doubt understand the significant consequences of DUI, you may not have considered how such a conviction can damage your future. Losing your driver’s license can cause extreme hardships—and it can, obviously, directly affect your job. After all, getting to and from work is a prerequisite of any position. A significant lapse in the ability to drive legally makes most people’s lives much more difficult. Furthermore, your car insurance premiums are likely to spike. Unfortunately, however, this is just the beginning.

If a court convicts you of a DUI and sentences you to jail time, things can get much worse. Jail time is closely associated with both social stigma and diminished self-esteem (to name a just two negative consequences). Furthermore, a DUI that forces you to step away from your life to spend time in jail can hurt your family’s welfare and well-being, cause serious problems at work (or even cause you to lose your job), and lead to psychological or emotional consequences that may prove even more difficult to overcome.

None of this is easy. In fact, the overall effects related to a DUI that leads to a jail sentence are hard to adequately calculate—but they aren’t hard to imagine. A sentence of jail time is just as bad as it sounds. Call the legal team at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, for help today.

Your Career

Because a DUI conviction can leave such a significant effect on your career, it bears taking a closer look. Employers may simply not want to deal with the optics of employing someone convicted of a DUI. In addition, the state can revoke or suspend some professional licenses with such a conviction. If you do lose your job or are looking for a job, many employers conduct background checks and may feel less inclined to hire someone with a criminal record—which is what you’ll have after a DUI conviction.

Your Case

In other words, if you’re convicted of a DUI, you have a lot to lose. Your finances, your family, your self-worth, and your career can all take a hit. If you’re looking at DUI charges, you need an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer at Alpert Schreyer, LLC. While every DUI case is unique to its own circumstances, an experienced DUI attorney will help you explore every option and proceed in a manner that optimizes your chances of resolving your case favorably.

Noah’s Law and Ignition Interlock Systems

After a drunk driver killed a young police officer who was making a routine stop in 2015, Maryland passed Noah’s Law, which went into effect in 2016. It expanded the state’s Ignition Interlock Program, and helps to keep drunk drivers off the roads. If any of these situations exist, Maryland requires drivers to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program:

  • A court convicts you of driving under the influence (DUI)
  • A court convicts you of driving while impaired (DWI)—which has the lower blood alcohol content threshold of 0.07 percent—while transporting a minor younger than 16
  • You caused someone else to die or incur a life-threatening injury while either driving under the influence or driving while impaired
  • A court convicts you of DWI after refusing to take a Breathalyzer

Furthermore, if a court convicts you of driving under the influence, you may elect to participate in, or opt-in, to the Ignition Interlock System Program for at least 180 days and thus bypass license suspension.

The Ignition Interlock System Program allows those convicted of DUI to keep their driving privileges so long as they can prove that they are driving sober. Such drivers are only licensed to drive vehicles equipped with ignition interlock devices.

Ignition interlock devices connect the vehicle’s ignition system to a Breathalyzer that precludes the engine from turning over when the driver’s BAC exceeds the device’s calibrated setting (which is determined when the driver breathes into the Ignition Interlock System device). Furthermore, the device will prompt additional testing sessions while the vehicle is running. Maryland establishes who’s eligible for participation in this program and how that participation will proceed.

If You Face DUI Charges, Consult an Experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer

If you’re facing Maryland DUI charges, you’re no doubt feeling overwhelmed and more than a little anxious about what’s to come. A DUI conviction can result in serious negative consequences for your future, but a dedicated DUI attorney will carefully analyze your case, clarify your options, and help guide your case toward its best possible resolution.

Your rights and your future matter, and the experienced legal team at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, in Maryland, are here to help. Our knowledgeable DUI attorneys have the experience, skill, and determination to aggressively fight for your case’s most positive outcome. We care about you, so please contact or call us at (866) 444-6363 for a free case evaluation today.

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