Drivers getting behind the wheel while under the influence is a persistent concern in Maryland and across the U.S. Law enforcement is vigilant about finding and arresting drivers who are committing DUI. Still, simply because a person is arrested for DUI does not automatically mean there will be a conviction. Understanding the various factors related to a DUI arrest can be important and that includes state-wide laws and statistics.
Recently, information was released detailing Maryland’s place across the nation for DUI. The state was 27th for DUI in 2018. There was a 20% reduction in the number of DUI arrests between 2014 and 2018 and a 24.4% reduction from 2009 to 2018. In 2019, there was the highest rate of DUIs in the previous decade with nearly 386 arrests per 100,000 people. The law in Maryland says that if a driver registers .08% blood-alcohol content (BAC) or refuses to submit to a test to determine BAC, the driver’s license will automatically be suspended. There will also be a citation issued. Drivers can get a temporary license that will be in effect for 45 days. Commercial drivers can lose their status.
A first DUI offense can lead to a fine of up to $500 and two months’ incarceration. There will be eight points on the driver’s license and a six-month license suspension. Drivers under 21 will be suspended for one year. A second DUI will be a fine for up to $500 and up to a year in prison. This will also result in eight points, and a license suspension for nine to 12 months. Those under 21 will have a two-year suspension. There are harsher penalties if there is a minor in the vehicle at the time.
The litany of penalties for DUI convictions can be substantial. It can negatively impact a person’s employment, finances, personal life and more. Lodging a defense against these charges and seeking to avoid the worst possible consequences is key. A law firm experienced in driving under the influence defense may be able to assist with crafting an effective defense.