It’s common for college students to drink alcohol in excess. Unfortunately, sometimes college students may drive after drinking, which is a serious criminal offense. Driving under the influence (DUI) is treated as a serious criminal offense because drunk drivers can cause severe harm to themselves, other people, or other peoples’ property. Penalties for driving under the influence may include a jail term, heavy fines, license suspension, and enrollment in community service or alcohol education programs.
Students of John Hopkins University are advised to seek legal counsel immediately if they are charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Attorneys with the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can help clients deal with their charges to ensure that they move through the legal system fairly. If you’re a student of John Hopkins University who has been charged with a DUI, we encourage you to get in touch with the attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon as possible. Call (410) 834-3859 or visit our website for more information.
What is a DUI in Maryland?
A DUI charge in Maryland is characterized by driving while the driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. BAC is the amount of alcohol present per 100 milliliters of human blood. Note that there is a slightly less severe offense similar to a DUI, known as Driving While Impaired (DWI), which applies if the driver has a BAC between .07 and .08.
A DUI is based on the BAC level of a person, which is determined by a portable breath test (also known as a breathalyzer test) administered while the offender is driving. An attorney can help ensure that this evidence was obtained by following all of the proper procedures on the part of law enforcement. A refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test is treated the same as testing above the legal limit for alcohol while driving—if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, your licensed will be confiscated and you may be issued a temporary paper license that is valid for 45 days. An attorney can also challenge the validity of a field sobriety test (the test during which a person suspected of being drunk may have to perform a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, a walk-and-turn test, or a one-leg stand test), which is not always entirely objective and may not be administered by an officer that has been trained to do so.
Penalties for a DUI in Maryland
Penalties for a DUI in Maryland vary based on a few different factors. If a student is being charged with a DUI for the first time, then the maximum penalty that they’re able to receive is a year in jail and a fine that can be as much as $1,000. A second DUI offense can result in two years of jail and a $2,000 fine, while a third offense may result in three years in jail and a $3,000 fine. (A first offense for a DWI can result in two months in jail and a $500 fine; a second offense can result in one year in jail and another $500 fine.) The penalties are slightly more severe if a person is caught driving under the influence while there are children in the car—one year and $1,000 are added onto every tier of offense.
Students who have been charged with a DUI, regardless of how many times they’ve committed the offense before, may also have their licenses revoked. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) administers 12 points to a person’s licenses as a penalty for a DUI. (They give 8 points for a DWI.) 12 points is the minimum amount a person needs for their license to be suspended. However, there are certain ways that attorneys can work with the court to prevent these points from being added to an offender’s license, which will ensure that they will keep their license.
Penalties for Getting a DUI While Underage
College students who drink and drive while they aren’t legally old enough to drink may face extra penalties. Anyone under the age of 18 who is charged with a DUI will be sent to juvenile court. A driver between the ages of 18 and 21, the legal minimum age for drinking alcohol, will be charged with a DUI if their BAC is above .02 and will be handled in adult court. People under the age of 21, since they are usually students and more impressionable than older DUI offenders, are more likely to be required to do community service or enroll in an alcohol education program as part of their penalty.
Get in Touch with a John Hopkins University DUI Lawyer for a Free Consultation
A DUI is a very serious offense, especially for a college student who may be underage and whose future can be severely damaged by a charge of this caliber. Don’t go through the process of dealing with your DUI alone. Get in touch with the lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon as possible. You can contact us either by calling our law offices at (410) 834-3859, or by visiting our website.