If you are charged and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), a conviction can include jail and restrictions on your driver’s license, including suspension or revocation. A DUI or DWI conviction carries the possibility of jail, fines, costs, probation and increased insurance premiums for years. Depending on the driver’s history, a DUI charge can cost up to $10,000.00, making it one of the most expensive crimes to be alleged to have committed in Maryland. To protect your freedom and privilege to drive, it is wise to hire an experienced Howard County DUI lawyer with our firm. Call today to speak with one of our trusted Maryland DUI lawyers.
Howard County DUI Laws
In Maryland, the police can charge various DUI and DWI charges if they suspect a driver is operating a motor vehicle with alcohol or drugs in their system. Those drunk driving charges include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
- Driving under the influence or alcohol per se
- Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI)
- Driving while impaired by a drug
- Driving while impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs
- Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance
If you’ve been charged with any of these offenses, contact our Howard County DUI Lawyer Randolph Rice today.
Penalty for a DUI or DWI in Howard County
The DUI/DWI laws in Maryland and Howard County are complicated. It can be confusing when charged with a DUI/DWI as to the potential consequences of a Howard County DUI conviction. A Howard County DUI lawyer can explain the potential consequences and discuss any options you may have to contest the charges. The contest the charges, the defendant has to make a decision to either try the case before a Judge or a Jury in the Circuit Court or District Court for Howard County.
In Maryland, the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08. That does not mean a driver cannot be charged with DUI or DWI if they have a BAC of less than 0.08 at the time of arrest. If a driver has an alcohol concentration of 0.05 or less it is presumed by the Court that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol and that the person was not driving while impaired by alcohol.
Alcohol Concentrations in Maryland DUI 0.05 – 0.07
If a driver has an alcohol concentration of more than 0.05 but less than 0.07, it may not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol or that the person was or was not driving while impaired by alcohol. However, the Court or a Jury may consider other evidence in determining whether the person was or was not driving while under the influence of alcohol or driving while impaired by alcohol. That means the trier of facts can look at the driving behavior or actions and observations by the police officer to determine impairment or intoxication.
Alcohol Concentration in Maryland DUI 0.07 – 0.08
Court Penalties for a DUI in Howard County
If convicted of DUI, even a first time DUI in Howard County, the Court has the power to impose strict sanctions. Obtaining a Howard County DUI lawyer to represent you may be one of the wisest moves you make as the trial is pending. The Court sanctions or penalties can include: jail, fines, costs, probation (supervised or unsupervised), community service, alcohol treatment and counseling, MADD Victim Impact Panel and any other task the Court deem necessary to address the defendant’s situation.
If a defendant receives probation before judgment, MVA points will not be assessed against the driver’s record.
Administrative (MVA) Penalties for a DUI in Howard County
Not only will a driver face criminal court penalties if charged with a DUI, but the Motor Vehicle Administration can and will take action against the driver’s privilege to drive. Below are the potential MVA penalties after a DUI or DWI arrest.
- Refusal to submit to a test will result in a driver’s license suspension for 270 days for a 1st offense and 2 years for a 2nd or subsequent offense.
- An alcohol concentration test of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, will result in a 180 days suspension. If the DUI involves a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of another person, the license suspension will be 6 months for a 1st offense and 1 year for a 2nd or subsequent offense.
- Alcohol test result of 0.08 but less than 0.15, a driver’s license suspension may be modified or a restricted license may be issued at a MVA hearing. Our Howard County DUI lawyer can advise if a driver should select an MVA hearing after a DUI arrest.
- Test result of an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, the driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days for a 1st offense and 270 days for a 2nd or subsequent offense. If the drunk driving offense involves a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of another person, the suspension shall be 1 year for a 1st offense and for a 2nd or subsequent offense the driver’s license shall be revoked.
- Refusal to take a test or the driver takes a test with a result of 0.15 or more, the person is ineligible for modification of the license suspension or the issuance of a restricted license. However, the driver may participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program.