Common Maryland DUI and DWI Questions and Answers from a Maryland DUI & DWI Lawyer
While no one intends to be arrested for drunk driving or driving while impaired in Maryland, if you are arrested, you probably have a lot of questions. Below are some of the most common questions people ask about DUI and DWI in Maryland and the answers from on the of the Best DUI Lawyers in Maryland.
Is a DUI a misdemeanor or felony in Maryland?
According to Maryland Transportation Article 27-101, violation of DUI or DWI in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor.
What is driving while impaired (“DWI”)?
Driving while impaired, also known as DWI, is the lesser offense of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, drugs and alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance. The distinction between driving while impaired and DUI, which is driving under the influence, is the level of intoxication.
Typically speaking, a DUI is charged if the individual is operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. If the alcohol affects the individual to a point of not being able to operate that motor vehicle safely or if the individual provides a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. An individual can still be charged with DWI in Maryland if they have a blood alcohol content of .05 – .07.
What is implied consent in Maryland?
In Maryland, implied consent refers to the requirement to take a test for any individual who is driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle and the officer believes that individual has consumed alcohol. By operating a motor vehicle in Maryland a person has implicitly consented to taking a test if the police officer believes that individual has consumed alcohol.
What will happen the first time you refuse to take a BAC test?
A BAC test or a blood alcohol content test is administered to individuals who have been stopped or detained for driving are attempting to drive a motor vehicle with alcohol in their system. If an individual refuses to take a BAC test then the motor vehicle administration for Maryland will suspended the driver’s license for a period of 270 days for a first offense.
Can you refuse to take a field sobriety test?
In Maryland, you can refuse to take a field sobriety test. You are not required to take the field sobriety test in Maryland if you are stopped by police. However, the police will look for other evidence of impairment if you refuse to take a field sobriety test.
What happens if you refuse to take a blood or breath test?
If you refuse to take a blood or breath test in Maryland then your license will be suspended for 270 days for a first offense and two years for a second or subsequent offense.
What if I take a breath or blood test and my results are .08 – .14?
If you take a breath or blood test and your results are .08 and less than .15, your license could be suspended for 180 days. You may be eligible for a restricted license if your breath or blood test results are between .08 and .14.
What does PBJ stand for in court?
PBJ stands for probation before judgement. The statute for PBJ can be found in Criminal Procedure Section 6-220. The law states that when a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime, the judge may stay the entering of judgment, defer further proceedings and place the defendant on probation subject to reasonable conditions. This means that a PBJ is not a conviction and you are able to tell employers and others that you have not been convicted and rather received a probation before judgement.
Is a DUI and DWI the same?
No, a DUI and DWI are not the same. A DUI is the more serious charge and carries a stiffer penalty and fines if convicted. DWI is the less serious charge of driving while impaired and carries less serious penalties than a DUI and also requires different evidence and proof in court.
Am I required to take a breath or blood test if asked by a police officer?
In Maryland, you are not required to submit to a breath or blood test if asked by the police officer. However, there will be administrative sanctions imposed by the Motor Vehicle Administration if you fail to submit to a breath or blood test if asked by a police officer. If you refuse to take a breath or blood test you will be ineligible for modification of your suspension and you may be required to participate in the ignition interlock System Program under Maryland Transportation Article 16-404.1.
The law that specifies the penalties for refusing to take a breath or blood tests are contained within Maryland Transportation Article 16-205.1.
What if I was operating a commercial motor vehicle and arrested for DUI?
If you are operating a commercial motor vehicle and you submit to a breath or blood test and the results were .04 or more or you refuse to take the test, your CDL will be disqualified for a period of one year for a first offense and three years for a first offense if you’re transporting hazardous materials. Your CDL will be disqualified for life if your CDL license has been previously disqualified for at least one year and or you have incurred similar offenses.
Is there a penalty for refusing to take a breath or blood test?
In Maryland, if you’re convicted of DUI or DWI and the judge or jury finds that you knowingly refuse to take the test then you could be subject two two months in jail and or a $500 fine under Maryland Transportation Article 27-101(x).
Should I request a MVA hearing after a DUI?
You should consult with a DUI lawyer on whether it is wise to request an MVA hearing after a DUI arrest. It may be pointless to request a hearing in certain circumstances. You must request a hearing within 30 days of the date that you were issued the order of suspension.
However to ensure that your driving privilege is not suspended you must request a hearing within 10 days by submitting the hearing request form to the office of administrative hearings in Hunt Valley Maryland.
You must include a check or money order for $150 with your filing and it must be payable to the Maryland state treasurer. If you do not submit the hundred $50 filing fee then your hearing request will be invalid and your license will be suspended on the 46th day after the order of suspension was issued.
If you refuse to take a test or your blood alcohol content was .15 or more, then you have two main options. You can accept the order of suspension pursuant to the DR-15 issued to you by the police officer.
Or you can enroll in the Ignition Interlock System Program for one year. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you receive a guilty finding for your DUI or DWI you may be required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program for additional time.
Maryland DUI lawyer Randolph Rice
If you been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland you should hire the best Maryland DUI lawyer. Attorney Randolph Rice has been ranked by Super Lawyers as a Maryland Rising Star for over 5 years, AVVO Superb Lawyer with a 10 out of 10 rating, and Lead Counsel rated.
He is a former assistant State’s Attorney and has defended hundreds of clients charged with drunk driving and driving while impaired in Maryland. Let his experience in the courtroom go to work for you in your case. Contact his office today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your DUI or DWI arrest in Maryland.