Being arrested for drunk driving often feels like a nightmare. While you may simply wish that you can wake up and have this all be just a dream, the reality is that you can’t erase what’s happened.
Not only are you facing criminal penalties, you are also at risk of losing your Maryland driving privileges and, if licensed in another state, your actual driver’s license. While it is easy to become overwhelmed with your circumstances, you can begin your defense by taking action as soon as possible after your arrest. A crucial first step is to speak with an experienced Maryland DUI defense attorney who can review your case and ensure that everything legally possible is done to help save your license and your freedom.
What Can I Do?
You are facing serious charges with serious consequences so it is extremely important for you to hire the most experienced DUI defense attorney you can to fight the charges against you. DUI laws in Maryland are complicated and, choosing the wrong attorney or trying to represent yourself could cost you more in the long run. The consequences of a DUI conviction are serious and can follow you for the rest of your life. In addition to paying steep fines and facing jail time, if you are convicted of a DUI and/or DWI in Maryland, you face additional penalties including: loss of your driver’s license, increased insurance premiums, loss of employment, loss of security clearance for life, the inability to own a handgun, loss of your CDL license, a downgrade of your credit rating, the inability to rent a car, the inability to open a bank account, and loss of rank and/or discharge from the military. Don’t risk your freedom, your financial security, and your future. Retain the services of the most qualified DUI/DWI attorney that you can find.
How Did this Happen?
In a lot of DUI arrests, the person who’s been charged is frequently left wondering how it’s possible that they were arrested in the first place. For a lot of people, it’s difficult to understand why they’ve been charged with drunk driving if they only had one drink or didn’t even feel drunk.
There is a common definition that the legal limit for alcohol consumption is “about two drinks.” However, this is not the case. Many factors go into determining what your breath or blood alcohol level is. How much time you have had to drink the alcohol and how much you weigh are top factors. Whether you’ve eaten recently, your fitness level, physical or medical disabilities, and your body’s tolerance for alcohol, are also considerations. In addition, each person’s body metabolizes alcohol at a different rate.
Maryland State Law prohibits any driver from operating a motor vehicle while legally intoxicated. Like many states across the country, Maryland has established blood and/or breath alcohol limits for legal intoxication at .08 and above for anyone aged 21 and older and .02 and above for anyone under the age of 21. If you have been arrested for DUI, you may have been given a breathalyzer and/or blood test that indicated you were operating a motor vehicle with a breath and/or blood alcohol level of .08 or above or .02 or above if you are under 21.
BAC and DUI/DWI
In Maryland, a blood alcohol content of more than .08 automatically results in a driving under the influence (DUI) charge if you are 21 years of age or older. A blood alcohol content of more than .07 usually results in a driving while impaired (DWI) charge.
Typically, a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .05 or less should result in a driver 21 or older being let go, but an arrest for DWI and other charges may result. However, that is not always the case. If there is a .05 BAC plus drugs and/or the driver is under the age of 21, charges will be brought. A person’s BAC is not necessarily an indication of how impaired he or she is, though it is used to establish intoxication according to the law. This is why, even if you didn’t feel drunk, you may be arrested for drunk driving.
Measuring Breath Alcohol Concentration and Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
In most cases, Breath Alcohol Concentration is measured using a breathalyzer test. This is a device that is supposed to indicate how many grams of alcohol are present per 210 liters of breath and can be administered after the officer pulls you over and/or at the police station after the arrest takes place. Generally the state of Maryland uses breath testing instead of blood testing; however, in certain situations, blood tests will be conducted to determine an individual’s Blood Alcohol Content.
A very common misconception is that breath alcohol content as indicated by a breathalyzer test is a perfectly accurate representation of how impaired an individual is. However, there are a variety of factors that could result in the misrepresentation of breath alcohol content in breathalyzer tests, such as use of certain kinds of medication, certain physical conditions, and human or mechanical error.
Consequences for DUI and DWI
Penalties, even for a first-time DUI offender, are strict, and can include license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, and jail time. Repeat offenders can face steeper fines and increased jail time. The lesser charge of driving while impaired (DWI) also carries significant penalties which can include license suspension, fines, and time in jail.
In addition, if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and are convicted of a DUI, you not only face the penalties under the DUI statute, you could lose your CDL license even if you are not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest.
Take Action in Upholding Your Rights
If you have been arrested for a DUI in the state of Maryland, your calculated BAC can be one of the main components used by the state in an attempt to establish your guilt or innocence in Maryland DUI legal proceedings. It is important to note, however, that an indication of a high level of alcohol in your system does not automatically mean that you will be convicted of DUI charges. Each DUI case is unique. There are many variables that need to be explored and the assistance of an experienced Maryland DUI attorney can help protect your rights and mount a strong, persuasive defense against the charges you are facing. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of Alpert Schreyer’s experienced DUI lawyers, call us today at (866) 444-6363 or click here to e-mail an associate to set up your free, confidential consultation today.