Maryland law takes drinking and driving very seriously and even allows for charges against drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.07 percent in certain instances. But that one-point discrepancy in BAC makes a huge difference in penalties and sentencing. For example, first-time DWI offenders face a $500 fine, 60-day driver's license suspension, eight points on their license, and up to two months in jail. First-time DUI offenders, meanwhile, can be fined $1,000, a six-month license suspension, 12 points on their license, and up to one year in jail. Also, a law enacted on Oct. 1, 2016 mandates the use of an ignition interlock device after a conviction for a DUI (or for certain DWI offenses).
Learn more about Maryland's DUI/DWI laws below.
Maryland DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent
|"Per Se" BAC Limit||0.08 Percent (presumption of intoxication)|
|Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit||0.02 Percent|
|Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit||n/a|
|Driving While Impaired by Alcohol (lesser charge than DUI)||0.07 Percent (contributing factor, but more evidence needed for a conviction)|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes|
Maryland DUI Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||6 months / 120 days / not explicit|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Both|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes (mandatory after certain convictions)|
Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.
Maryland Impaired Driving Law: DUI vs. DWI
Maryland law allows prosecutors to file two different kinds of charges against impaired motorists: driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI). While DUI conforms with the 0.08 percent BAC limit followed by other states, a DWI may be charged if the motorist has a BAC of at least 0.07 percent. The key difference, other than penalties upon conviction, is that a DWI requires additional evidence of impairment. So while someone with a BAC of 0.08 percent is considered "per se" impaired, a motorist with a BAC of 0.07 percent must have been seen swerving or otherwise showing signs of impairment in order to be arrested.
Maryland DUI Resources
Have Your Case Reviewed for Free by a Maryland DUI Attorney
Since Maryland law allows for lesser charges for those with a 0.07 percent BAC, the chances of being arrested for impaired driving are amplified. A legal professional can help you understand the laws while working tirelessly to challenge the evidence and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Get started by contacting a Maryland DUI attorney for a free case evaluation.