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What is the Difference Between DUI & DWI in Maryland?

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Drunk driving is a serious problem in Maryland and across the United States. That is why Maryland prohibits anyone from driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or driving while impaired (DWI) by alcohol or drugs. Even though these offenses are similar, there are subtle differences between Maryland laws and penalties for DUI and DWI.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Under Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-902, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Across the state, a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 is the legal limit. Any person who registers a BAC of 0.08 or greater is guilty of a DUI.

Maryland employs a sliding scale for DUI offenses. The punishment changes based on the circumstances and number of offenses.

  • First Offense — Can result in imprisonment for 12 months and fines up to $1,000. If the drunk driver was transporting a minor, then the penalties increase to imprisonment for 24 months and fines up to $2,000.
  • Second Offense — Can result in imprisonment for 24 months and fines up to $2,000. If the drunk driver was transporting a minor, then the penalties increase to imprisonment for 36 months and fines up to $3,000.
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — Can result in imprisonment for 36 months and fines up to $3,000. If the drunk driver was transporting a minor, then the penalties increase to imprisonment for 48 months and fines up to $4,000.

Driving While Impaired (DWI)

Section 21-902 also makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. A driver is impaired if they are incapable of driving safely and present a danger to other vehicles on the road.

As with DUI offenses, Maryland employs a sliding scale for DWI offenses. Depending on the nature of the incident and the number of offenses, the penalties can change drastically.

  • First Offense — Can result in imprisonment for two months and fines up to $500. If the drunk driver was transporting a minor, then the penalties increase to imprisonment for six months and fines up to $1,000.
  • Second Offense — Can result in imprisonment for 12 months and fines up to $500. If the drunk driver was transporting a minor, then the penalties increase to imprisonment for 12 months and fines up to $2,000.
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — Can result in imprisonment for 36 months and fines up to $3,000. If the drunk driver was transporting a minor, then the penalties increase to imprisonment for 48 months and fines up to $4,000.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have legal questions about DUI or DWI in Maryland, it can be highly favorable to reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney.  The attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have the skill and experience needed to help you fight back against a variety of criminal charges, including DUI and DWI. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Resource:

mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gtr&section=21-902&ext=html&session=2018RS&tab=subject5

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