Drinking alcohol—usually to an excess—is a rite of passage for college students all over the country. Drinking too much alcohol can cause people to make poor decisions and, unfortunately, that may include driving while drunk. Drinking and driving is a serious criminal offense, and for good reason. Drunk drivers are very likely to cause severe injury to themselves or others, and they can damage property, too. Jail time, large fines, suspension of licenses, and mandatory enrollment in programs such as alcohol education classes or community service are all possible penalties for drinking and driving.
Students at the University of Maryland are not an exception. Students at the University of Maryland that face drinking and driving (DUI) charges are encouraged to seek counsel immediately. Calling the Law Offices of Randolph Rice is a good place to start. Randolph Rice is available to help any University of Maryland student charged with a DUI receive fair treatment as they move through the legal system. If you or your child are a student at the University of Maryland, get in touch with the attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon as possible by calling (410) 834-3859 or paying us a visit online.
The Minimum BAC Level for a DUI in Maryland
According to Maryland law, the minimum BAC level that will qualify someone for a DUI charge is a .08. (BAC stands for Blood Alcohol Concentration, the amount of alcohol present per 100 milliliters of a human’s blood.) A BAC level between .07 and .08 will result in a Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge.
Law enforcement officers will use a portable breath test (also known as a breathalyzer test) to determine the BAC of a driver that they assume has been drinking. Sometimes, however, police officers don’t follow proper protocol to administer this test. An attorney can help determine if this test was given by an officer that has been trained in the correct way, and that the test was done fairly.
It should be noted that it is not advisable to refuse to take a portable breath test. Refusing to take a portable breath test as requested by police officers is treated in the same manner as a positive result. Refusing to take a portable breath test will result in license confiscation and the issuance of a temporary, 45-day license.
If a police officer attempts to administer a field sobriety test (a test that entails asking a suspected drunk driver to undergo a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, a one-leg stand test, and/or a walk-and-turn test), an attorney may be able to prove that that test was not administered objectively or by a trained officer.
DUI Penalties in Maryland
DUI penalties in the state of Maryland vary based on a few conditions. If the DUI charge is a student’s first, then they will receive a penalty of no more than one year in jail and a fine that is not more than $1,000. If the charge is the student’s second charge, then the maximum penalty they can receive is two years of imprisonment and a fine of $2,000. Penalties for a DWI are slightly less—the punishment for a first offense is $500 and two months in jail while the punishment for a second offense can result in a year of jail and an additional $500 fine. If there are children riding in the car while the drunk driver is arrested, then an additional year and $1,000 fine are included in the penalty.
License revocation is another major penalty of DUIs. 12 points are added to the license of a person charged with a DUI. 12 points is also the amount that the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration determined to be the minimum amount that determines license revocation. A DWI garners 8 points from the MVA. Attorneys are able, however, to work with courts to prevent all of those 12 points from being added to a person’s license. This will allow them to keep their licenses.
Underage DUI Laws
College students are often under the age of 21, which means that they are subject to slightly different laws surrounding DUIs. College students who drive while drunk but are not old enough to legally drink are subject to a lower BAC limit than older drunk drivers. Drivers that are above the age of 18 but under the age of 21 are charged with a DUI if their BAC is above .02. However, it’s common for college students that have been charged with a DUI to be punished by mandatory enrollment in a program, which may be a community service program or an alcohol education class. Drunk drivers that are under the age of 18 will be dealt with in juvenile court.
Contact a University of Maryland DUI Lawyer Today
Given their degree to which it endangers the safety of the public, drunk driving is treated as a very serious offense by the law. College students that drink and drive face penalties that include jail, fines, and license revocation. The biggest penalty, however, is the stain on their record, which may appear when they apply for jobs or other opportunities that have an impact on their future. Get on the best path for your future for enlisting the help of the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, who have been trusted by University of Maryland students for years. Call us at (410) 834-3859 or check out our website.