A trip to Ocean City for the summer has been a highlight of most summers for everyone, but driving after a few too many, can result in a DUI or DWI charge in Ocean City. Anyone charged with DUI should contact the experienced Ocean City DUI lawyer Randolph Rice.
Attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., is a former Maryland Assistant State’s Attorney. He has handled thousands of drunk driving cases in Maryland. Let his experience in the Courtroom go to work for you. If you do not live in Maryland, we are able to conduct most of the legal work via phone, email, fax and mail.
Did a vacation to Ocean City, Maryland end with a drunk driving arrest? Speak with our Ocean City DUI lawyer today and learn how we can help with your drunk driving charges. Call the office today and ask for attorney Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291.
DUI and DWI are interchangeable terms when it comes to drunk driving arrests. DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol. Whereas, DWI stands for driving while impaired. The substance that can impair a driver may be alcohol, drugs, a combination of drugs and alcohol or controlled dangerous substance (i.e. cocaine, marijuana, etc).
Ocean City DUI Charges
In Ocean City, Maryland there are thousands of reasons to have a drink with your friends.
Whatever the reason for the celebration, you have to get home eventually. The problem arises with drinking when you see those flashing blue and red lights in your rear view mirror.
Don’t panic, thousands of people are arrested for DUI & DWI every year, and the knowledgeable and trusted DUI – DWI defense attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., with the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, can help protect your freedom while minimizing the effects on your insurance rates and MVA point accumulation.
The judge and prosecutors in Ocean City can be tough on drunk drivers and often will seek some period of incarceration of increased fines based on the circumstances of the arrest. Ocean City District Court has one judge that sits and hears impaired driving arrests and cases.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI / DWI Statistics
In the state of Maryland, violations of the Maryland DUI and DWI laws are taken very seriously by local and state law enforcement departments as well as the Courts and State’s Attorneys.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2007 Maryland had 614 fatalities, 178 were related to alcohol-impaired crashes. Compared to 2008, Maryland recorded 591 traffic fatalities, and of those, 152 were attributed to alcohol-impaired crashes.
Even though the state of Maryland saw a decrease of 12.5% alcohol-impaired fatalities between 2007 and 2008, the State agencies, law enforcement departments, State’s Attorneys and the Courts still strive to reduce that number through strict enforcement of the state of Maryland’s DUI and DWI laws.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving DUI / DWI Statistics
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 2007 there were nearly 13,000 drunk driving fatalities and countless other injuries related to alcohol-impaired crashes in the United States of America.
About two-thirds of all drunk driving arrests were a “first-time” offender and according to MADD, “first-time” offenders have driven after consuming alcohol 87 times before they are arrested. MADD also found that about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of driving under the influence or driving while impaired are repeat offenders or “second-timers”.
The national drunk driving campaign: Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. is organized between the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
This program focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement of drunk driving laws in the United States and Maryland in twice-yearly national crackdowns with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity with television commercial, billboards and print advertising and the state of Maryland.
What Happens When You Get Charged with DUI in Ocean City, Maryland?
What happens after the arrest? That can depend on what you choose to do and the facts of your case. Was this your first arrest or have you been arrested for DUI or DWI in the past?
Did you have a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the arrest? Did you elect to take the field sobriety tests (FSTs)? Did you elect to take the breath or blood test offered by the police officer? Was your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over or under .08 or was your reading over .15?
A history of DUI or DWI arrests and convictions can lead to a lengthy sentence if you don’t have an experienced defense like the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., can provide.
The DUI and DWI laws are complicated and the knowledge and experience the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC can provide to your case are invaluable.
If you have been arrested, the first action is to get you out of jail. We can provide you with a local bail bonds company that can ensure your speedy release.
You may be released on your own recognizance. What is the next step? You have a limited time to file for an administrative hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to have your case heard before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to decide if you are able to keep driving after the DUI or DWI arrest.
If an Ocean City police officer stops and suspects you have been driving and are intoxicated, the officer will typically ask you to perform standardized field sobriety tests (SFST). These tests may include the:
- horizontal gaze nystagmus (the officer will ask you to follow a pen with your eyes);
- walk and turn test (you will be asked to walk on a straight line 9 steps down and return with 9 steps); and
- one leg stand (you must raise one foot 6 inches off the ground while counting out loud to 30).
Based on your performance during these tests, the officer will determine if he/she has probable cause to make an arrest for driving while impaired.
If arrested, you will be taken to the Ocean City Police station and offered a breath or blood test. If you refuse to take this test, there may be administrative penalties to your license and privilege to drive in Maryland for a period of time.
Aspects of a DUI and DWI Case in Ocean City, MD
There are two parts to each DUI or DWI arrest, 1) the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) penalty and 2) the criminal prosecution.
The MVA aspect of the DUI or DWI arrest is concerned with the penalty for either submitting to the breath or blood test and the results of that test. When you received your license at age 16 in the state of Maryland, you signed a number of documents that you probably didn’t read because you were so excited to get your license and be free on the road. According to Maryland Vehicle Law Section 16.205.1.(2), “any person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or on private property that is used by the public in general in this State is deemed to have consented..to take a test if the person should be detained on suspicion of driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, while impaired by alcohol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person could drive a vehicle safely, while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, in violation of an alcohol restriction, or in violation of section 16-813 of this title”. What that means is if the police officer that pulls you over has probable cause to believe that you have either alcohol, drugs, or controlled dangerous substances in the system, they can require you to take a breath or blood test. See DUI | DWI penalties for more information on the penalties of DUI or DWI arrest.
The second part of any DUI or DWI arrest is a criminal prosecution. Once you have been arrested, you will receive a packet of information from the police officer if he or she is able to write a report with the information he has at the time of the arrest. If you were arrested and a blood test is performed, then you may not receive any information regarding your arrest in the state of Maryland because they do not have the blood test results. If you submitted to a breath test, then the officer will present you with a number of forms. Those forms may include a temporary license. The purpose of that temporary license is to allow you to submit a request for an Administrative Hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). The rules and regulations are very specific and time sensitive in regards to your ability to keep driving. The Law Office of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., can assist you in determining the best course of action to ensure that you continue to drive to work, school, church, treatment program, and meetings with your attorney. You may face a mandatory suspension or you may have the option of participating in the ignition interlock system. We can provide you with information that will help you decide which option is best for you. Visit our DUI | DWI penalties section to learn more about your options.
Maximum DUI/DWI Penalties in Maryland
Driving under the influence or driving while impaired in Ocean City is a common occurrence. Hundreds of drivers are charged each summer in Ocean City while they are on vacation. When the police charge an individual with DUI or DWI their vacation is over and all they can worry about is what’s going to happen when they go to Court.
Maryland Maximum Penalties for Conviction of a Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired in Maryland. The column on the left applies to drivers that are convicted of DUI or DWI without a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. The column on the right applies to drivers that are convicted of DUI or DWI with a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
Driving Under the Influence 21-902(a) 21-902(d):
- First Offense: 1 year and/or $1,000.00 fine
- Second Offense: 2 years and/or $2,000.00 fine
- Third Offense or Subsequent Offense: 3 years and/or $3,000.00 fine
Driving While Impaired 21-902(b), 21-902(c):
- First Offense: 60 days and/or $500.00 fine
- Second or Subsequent Offense: 1 year and/or $1,000.00 fine
Maximum Penalties for DUI or DWI conviction in Maryland (updated 3/1/2013)
|No Minor in Vehicle|
|First Offense-1 Year- $1,000.00|
|Second Offense-2 Years- $2,000.00|
|Third Offense-3 Years- $3,000.00|
|Fourth Offense-3 Years- $3,000.00|
|Minor in Vehicle|
|First Offense-2 Years-$2,000.00|
|Second Offense-3 Years- $3,000.00|
|Third Offense-4 Years- $4,000.00|
|Fourth Offense-4 Years- $4,000.00|
During the winter months (Labor day to Memorial day) there are fewer visitors and thus less police in Ocean City druing these months. However, during the summer months, the community swells with visitors from all over the mid-atlantic, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York among the most popular states.
During the summer months, Memorial Day to Labor day, the Ocean City police force increases and they are on the hunt for drunk drivers. Most drunk driving arrests occur on Coastal Highway or while patrons are leaving popular bars like Seacrets Ocean City, Md.
What Happens After I am Released from a Drunk Driving Arrest in Ocean City?
After the police have processed a driver for drunk driving, the individual will be allowed to leave or picked up by a sober driver. The driver will provided with various documents from the police officer and usually given a trial date. That date is the trial date for the DUI and DWI charges. This is the time drivers want to contact an Ocean City DUI lawyer to discuss their options.
Trial dates are typically assigned 2-4 months after the arrest and will occur in the Ocean City District Court located at 6505 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842. Ocean City is located in Worcester County, Maryland. While there are two District Courts in Worcester County, most DUI and DWI arrests in Ocean City will be heard in the Ocean City location.
How to Find the Best Ocean City DUI Lawyer
Finding the best Ocean City DUI lawyer is not tough, but you have to know what to look for. Choosing a lawyer is an important step in the process of defending your rights and freedom.
Choose a impaired driving lawyer that has experience defending DUI and DWI clients. Attorney Randolph Rice has been defending drivers arrested under suspicion of drunk driving in Ocean City since 2009. Let his experience in the courtroom go to work for you.
Is a DUI Lawyer the Same Thing as a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Yes and no, most criminal defense lawyers also defend DUI and DWI cases. But, there are some lawyers that “specialize” in DUI and DWI arrests, case law and trying drunk driving cases. Choose a DUI lawyer that you feel comfortable with and has experience defending these types of cases.
How Much Does an Ocean City DUI Lawyer Cost?
An Ocean City DUI may charge between $2000 and $3500 for a first time drunk driving arrest, but they may charge more if the driver has a history of drunk driving arrests. Read more about the how much a DUI lawyer costs.
How Many DUI Are Charged in Ocean City, Md?
For Worcester County, which is the Maryland county where Ocean City is located, the number of DUI case filed by the police were:
- 2015: 693 DWI’s charges
- 2016: 715 DWI charges
- 2017: 786 DWI charges
What is a typical outcome for a DUI or DWI in Ocean City, Maryland?
In 2017 there were 819 DWI cases charged in Worcester County, most of them in the summer months in Ocean City. The outcome breakdown of those drunk driving charges was:
- 328 defendants were found guilty
- 29 were found not guilty of drunk driving
- 372 defendants received a probation before judgment
- 4 cases were dismissed by the State’s Attorney’s Office
- 39 were resolved by way of a nolle prosequi
- 9 cases were marked Stet
- 25 defendants requested a jury trial in the Worcester County Circuit Court
- 13 results in another outcome
Is it worth getting an Ocean City DUI Lawyer?
You have to weigh the cost and potential outcomes for your case and your own self when deciding if it is worth getting a DUI lawyer for your charges. A DUI lawyer will guide you through the process and work to get you the best possible outcome of disposition. In addition, your DUI lawyer will advise you on the best choices when it comes to your driver’s license and whether you should request an MVA hearing or participate in the ignition interlock program.
How to Find a Good Ocean City DUI Lawyer?
If you’re reading this page, then you’ve already started with your search for a good Ocean City DWI lawyer. Our DWI lawyers are former prosecutors and know the Judges and prosecutors that will be handling your case. Don’t trust your future and freedom to any, speak with our experienced defense lawyers today.
What If I am not from Maryland and I receive a DUI?
If you do not live in Maryland and you receive a DUI, there could be consequences against your home state license. You should speak with a DUI lawyer in your home state as to the potential ramifications for the DUI/DWI arrest in Ocean City.
While you may not be from Maryland or Ocean City, that still does not mean that the judge could sentence you to some jail time. If you are sentenced to jail in Ocean City, you will serve the time in the Worcester County Detention Center.
What is a PBJ or Probation Before Judgement for a DUI in Maryland?
PBJ or probation before judgment is an outcome of disposition for criminal and traffic cases in Maryland. PBJ means that the judge has stricken the finding of guilt and typically places the defendant on a period of probation. If you receive a PBJ, then you can answer that you have not been convicted. However, PBJ for a DUI in Maryland cannot be expunged down the road.
Ocean City DWI Defense Lawyers
If you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI in Ocean City, speak with our beach drunk driving defense lawyers today. Contact the office at (410) 694-7291 for immediate legal help.