The holiday season is a time for families and friends in the Baltimore area to get together and celebrate. Holidays bring people together and often encourage overindulgence. Most holiday events involve drinking, and it can often be the case that one consumes a large amount of alcohol at a party or another gathering.
Drinking and driving do not mix, especially during the holiday season. Still, countless individuals elect to get behind the wheel after having consumed too many drinks at a holiday party. In fact, the rates of drinking and driving increase during the holiday season. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some forty percent (40%) of traffic deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve alcohol. Drunk driving can also lead to an arrest and charges filed in criminal court. It is important that your rights are fully protected if you are stopped and charged with DUI.
How Can a DUI Conviction Impact Me?
A DUI is a misdemeanor charge in the state of Maryland. One may be charged with DUI so long as he or she is found to have been driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over the 0.08% legal limit.
A charge of DUI must be proven for a conviction to be entered. A DUI conviction indicates that the finder of fact determined that the defendant driver violated Maryland laws and drove under the influence. A defendant convicted of DUI may face significant fines, a suspension of driving privileges, and jail time of up to one year. A conviction can have serious implications in addition to financial ones. A DUI may impact an individual’s ability to maintain or find employment, limit access to financial assistance, and even compromise one’s standing regarding college scholarships or professional licensure.
In addition to potential criminal convictions, individuals charged with DUI may also face civil suits brought against them by victims or a victim’s family. This may result in additional financial penalties being entered against the driver.