The Penalties, Fines and Jail Time for a DUI in Maryland

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DUI is shorthand for “driving under the influence,” while DWI stands for “driving while impaired.” We have provided this Maryland DUI penalties chart as of 10/1/2017. Disclaimer: the Maryland DUI laws and penalties vary from year to year, you should speak with a DUI lawyer for an updated penalty chart.

Have you been charged with DUI/DWI or are you curious about what would happen if you get a DUI/DWI? We are Maryland DUI/DWI defense attorneys and below are the penalties for DUI/DWI in Maryland.

Can You Go to Jail for a DUI Conviction in Maryland?

You can go to jail for a DUI in Maryland, even if it is your first offense. A judge in Maryland will decide if you will go to jail for a DUI conviction.

The consequences and penalties for a drunk driving conviction can vary depending on a number of factors and scenarios. A Maryland DUI lawyer can best advise the potential outcomes and penalties for your drunk driving arrest and charges.

Below are the various penalties and sanctions a driver can face if arrested and convicted in Maryland. For any drunk driving arrest, there are two possible tribunals that a person may face.

Maryland Transportation Article 21-902 lays out the DUI and DWI laws in Maryland. The article contains 9 different DUI and DWI crimes a driver may be charged with is suspected of drunk driving. Those articles are:

  • TA 21-902(a)(1)(i) – Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • TA 21-902(a)(1)(ii) – Driving under the influence of alcohol per se
  • TA 21-902(a)(2)(i) – Driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor
  • TA 21-902(b)(1)(i) – Driving while impaired by alcohol
  • TA 21-902(b)(2)(i) – Driving while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minor
  • TA 21-902(c)(1)(i) – Driving while impaired by any drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol
  • TA – 2109(c)(2)(i) – Driving while impaired by any drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol while transporting a minor
  • TA 21-902(d)(1)(i) – Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance (CDS)
  • TA 21-902(d)(2)(i) – Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance while transporting a minor

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) Per Se Penalties

The penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol per se are the same. Below is the Maryland DUI penalties chart for DUI (21-902(a)).

First Offense DUI

  • Maximum penalty of 1 year in jail or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Second Offense DUI

  • Maximum penalty of 2 years in jail or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.

Third or Subsequent Offense DUI

  • Maximum penalty of 3 years in jail or a fine or not more than $3,000.00, or both.

Enhanced Penalties for DUI in Maryland

For the purpose of determining enhanced penalties for DUI and DWI in Maryland, a prior conviction under TA 21-902(a), (b), (c), or (d) within 5 years before the new conviction is considered a prior conviction and triggers enhanced penalties. The State must file notice of subsequent offender for the defendant to be subjected to the enhanced penalties.

Driving Under the Influence (TA 21-902(a)) of Alcohol While Transporting a Minor

If you are convicted of DUI with a minor (a person under 18 years) in the vehicle while driving, the penalties increase. The penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor is:

First Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 2 years in jail or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.

Second Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 3 years in jail or a fine of not more than $3,000.00, or both.

Third of Subsequent Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 4 years in jail or a fine or not more than $4,000.00, or both.

Driving While Impaired (DWI) by Alcohol

The Maryland DWI penalties are not a stiff as the DUI penalties, but they too enhance as more convictions are received. The penalty for driving while impaired by alcohol, driving while impaired by any drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol are the same in Maryland.

First Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 2 months in jail or a $500.00 fine, or both.

Second Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 1 year in jail or a $500.00 fine, or both.

Third or Subsequent Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 3 years in jail or a $3000.00 fine, or both.

Driving While Impaired by a Controlled Dangerous Substance

The Maryland DUI penalties chart for driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance are as follows:

First Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 1 year in jail or a fine of no more than $1,000.00, or both.

Second Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 2 years in jail or a fine of no more than $2,000.00, or both.

Third of Subsequent Offense

  • Maximum penalty of 3 years in jail or a fine of no more than $3,000.00, or both.

Probation Before Judgment for DUI or DWI

Most first time DUI and DWI defendants, who are unable to “beat” the charges, are looking for a probation before judgment. There are various benefits to a probation before judgment (PBJ) for a DUI in Maryland.

A PBJ is not a conviction, instead the Court will strike the conviction before entering it in the record. Also, a driver who receives a PBJ can answer that they have never been convicted is they receive a PBJ. However, a PBJ does come with some down sides to it.

A defendant that receives a PBJ will more likely than not be placed on a period of probation, that probation may be supervised or unsupervised. Supervised probation may require the individual to “report” or check-in with a probation agent or DDMP or a regular basis during the period of probation.

Unsupervised probation will not require strict reporting and possible substance testing, but the probationee will be required to stay crime free during the period of probation.

Probation can range from 1 day to 3 years for a District Court probation and 1 day to 5 years for a Circuit Court probation. In addition to the benefits already listed for a PBJ, points will not be assessed to a driver’s MVA record if PBJ is granted.

Probation After a DUI Conviction

Probation is the period time after a conviction or the disposition in Court that allows the judicial system to monitor the driver. The probation period can last from 1 day to 3 years for a District Court probation and 1 day to 5 years for a Circuit Court probation.

Most DUI and DWI probation terms are monitored by the Drinking Driving Monitor Program operated by the Maryland Department of Parole and Probation.

Administrative (DMV) Consequences After a DUI or DWI

The Motor Vehicle Administration has been empowered to take administrative action against drivers that are arrested and suspected of drunk driving in Maryland. Even if a driver is found not guilty by the Court, the MVA will impose sanctions against the driver’s ability to drive in Maryland.

These rules only apply to licensed drivers in Maryland, but will affect an out-of-state driver as it applies to their privilege to drive on Maryland roads and highways.

Point Assessment After a DUI or DWI

If a driver receives a PBJ, points will not be assessed to the driver’s record. However, is the driver is found guilty and the Judge does not enter a PBJ, then points will be assessed to the driver’s record. The following points will assessed to a driver’s record:

  • 21-902(a) or (d) – 12 points
  • 21-902(b) or (c) –  8 points

Too many points and the MVA will take action against the driver’s privilege to drive. If during a 2 year period a driver accumulates 3 to 4 points, the MVA will send the driver a warning letter.

If a driver has 5 to 7 points the MVA will require a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) to be completed. 8 to 11 points will result in the MVA suspending the driver’s license and 12 or more points will result in a license revocation.

Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer or Chemical Test and Losing You License

If you are stopped and the police offense has reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving after consuming alcohol, they can ask you to submit to a breath or blood test.  If you refuse to submit to this test or you submit to the test and your reading is .08 blood alcohol content or more, then the MVA will attempt to suspend your license.

The implied consent law says that any driver in the State of Maryland or who is license to drive in Maryland implicitly consents to submit to a breath or blood test if they are suspected of driving while impaired. This applies when a police officer or law enforcement has reasonable grounds to believe you have driver or attempted to drive after consuming alcohol or other impairing substance.

If an officer does establish reasonable grounds, he will read or have you read a DR-15. A DR-15 is an advice of rights form that explains the consequences of taking, refusing or taking and returning a result from a breath or blood test.  You are not required to take a test in Maryland, however, a refusal may result in a suspension of your privilege to drive. If you elect to take a test, and your results are .07 or less, then there are no administrative penalties against your privilege to drive in Maryland.

Our Maryland DUI / DWI Attorneys Can Help

If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Maryland, contact attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., to schedule a free legal consultation for immediate legal help.  Same-day appointments are available.

 

Featured Testimonial

“I can’t believe that I got a DUI. I am 35 and have never been in trouble before. I was coming from a bar in Baltimore and was pulled over by the State Police. I took the tests and was so scared that I would lose my job. I immediately called Randolph Rice and he put my mind at ease. He was able to walk me through the process and took care of everything. Before court he prepared me for what to expect. He returned all phone calls and was great at the trial. We had a trial and I won! I am so happy that he made this go away and helped me through a tough time in my life, thank you!”

Review by: Tom M.
Reviewing: Maryland DUI Defense Attorney
Date published: 2014-09-07
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars

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