Difference Between DUI and DWI in Maryland
Most people don’t know there is a difference between DUI and DWI in Maryland. There is a difference between the two violations and can make a difference in the potential penalties. Attorney Randolph Rice has put together this helpful guide to walk you through the differences.
What is a DWI?
A DWI (driving while impaired) is the less serious penalty for drunk driving. A DWI is charged by a police officer if they find a suspect operating a motor vehicle with some alcohol in their system. The DWI burden of proof is much lower than a DUI because the State must prove a lower level of impairment. If a driver’s blood-alcohol-content (BAC) is .05 to .o7, then they will more likely be charged with DWI. However, if a driver’s BAC is above .08, the the police officer will charge DWI in case the State cannot prove the more serious DUI.
Driver’s who pass the field sobriety tests (FST) can still be charged with DWI if the officer believes there is probable cause they are impaired. The police officer can also charge a driver is he fails the FST’s with DWI.
What is the Penalty for DWI in Maryland?
The penalty for DWI in Maryland is a maximum of 60 days in jail and or a $500.00 fine for a first offense. A second conviction for DWI in Maryland can result in a 1 year in jail and or a $1000 fine. In addition to jail time, a driver could be facing a loss of their driving privilege and the requirement to participate in the ignition interlock program. If a driver receives a probation before judgment (PBJ) from the Court, then points will not be assessed to their license.
There are two governmental agencies that will penalize a driver for a DWI in Maryland. The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) can impose administrative penalties for driving under suspicion of drunk driving. The Court can impose jail, fines, probation and other penalties for a DWI or DWI conviction.
What is a DUI?
DUI or driving while under the influence is the more serious charge if you are suspected of drunk driving.