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Maryland DUI / DWI Penalties

The Maryland DUI penalties vary depending on the type of charge and driver’s record. If charged with DUI in Maryland, it is advised to hire a DUI lawyer. A DUI defense lawyer can provide valuable legal and practical guidance. Making decisions after a DUI can have a negative impact on your freedom as well as your ability to drive.

In Maryland, there are two different types of penalties one can face, they include:

  1. Administrative penalties imposed by the Maryland MVA; and
  2. Criminal penalties imposed by the Courts.

Maryland DUI DWI penalties lawyer

What is a DUI in Maryland?

DUI stands for “driving while under the influence.” A driver can be charged with DUI if they have alcohol, drugs, or CDS in their system and it is affecting their ability to operate a motor vehicle.

If you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact attorney Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 to discuss your case and how he can help.

Why have I been charged with so many counts of DUI?

If arrested for DUI or DWI in Maryland, the police officer will typically write tickets for numerous violations under the Maryland DUI laws. Those may include:

  1. 21-902 (a)(1);
  2. 21-902 (a)(2);
  3. 21-902 (a)(3);
  4. 21-902 (b)(1);
  5. 21-902 (b)(2);
  6. 21-902 (c)(1);
  7. 21-902 (c)(3);
  8. 21-902 (d)(1);
  9. 21-902 (d)(2); and
  10. 21-902.1.

The police officer does this because they want to protect the case in the event the State cannot prove the more serious violations. Thus, if the State cannot prove the DUI, maybe they can prove that you were driving while impaired.

Driving While Impaired by Drugs or Drugs and Alcohol

Maryland Transportation Article 21-902 (c)(1) holds that it is a crime to driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol. Driving while impaired is not a scientific value. This is something that can be determined by a Judge or Jury based on a driver’s ability to control a vehicle or signs of impairment if pulled over and tested.

What is a DWI in Maryland?

DWI stands for “driving while impaired” by alcohol or drugs or drugs and alcohol. When considering the Maryland DUI penalties, the DWI charge can carry lower fines and less jail time than a DUI.

Different Maryland DUI Penalties

Depending if this is a first time DUI or subsequent DUI charge, the penalties vary in Maryland. The penalties can also increase if at the time of the DUI arrest, there was a minor in the vehicle.

Maryland DUI Penalties Chart

Offense1st Offense2nd Offense3rd or Subsequent OffenseMVA Point AssessmentMandatory Penalty
21-902(a)(1) Driving while under the influence of alcoholA fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or bothA fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or bothA fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(a) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(a) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(a)(2) Driving while under the influence of alcohol per seA fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or bothA fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or bothA fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(a) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(a) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(a)(3) Driving while under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or bothA fine of not more than $3,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(a) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(a) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(b)(1) Driving while impaired by alcoholA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or bothA fine not exceeding $3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(b)(2) Driving while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or bothA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(c)(1) Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcoholA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or bothA fine not exceeding $3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(c)(3) Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or bothA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(d)(1) Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substanceA fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or bothA fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or bothA fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(d) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(d) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(d)(2) Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or bothA fine of not more than $3,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(d) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(d) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902.1 Driving after arrest for drunk drivingA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both8 PointsN/A

Breakdown of the DUI and DWI Penalties in Maryland by Statute

21-902 (a)(1) – Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol

21-902 (a)(2) – Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol Per Se

21-902 (a)(3) – Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol While Transporting a Minor

21-902 (b)(1) – Driving While Impaired by Alcohol

21-902 (b)(2) – Driving While Impaired by Alcohol While Transporting a Minor

21-902 (c)(1) – Driving While Impaired by Drugs or Drugs and Alcohol

21-902 (c)(3) – Driving While Impaired by Drugs or Drugs and Alcohol While Transporting a Minor

21-902 (d)(1) – Driving While Impaired by Controlled Dangerous Substance

21-902 (d)(2) – Driving While Impaired by Controlled Dangerous Substance While Transporting a Minor

21-902.1 – Driving After Arrest for Violation of 21-902 – Maryland DUI penalties

Penalty for Refusing to Take a Breath or Blood Test in Maryland

In Maryland, according to Maryland Transportation Article 27-101(x)(3) if a person is convicted of a violation of any DUI crimes and the trier of fact finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the person knowingly refused to take a test arising out of the same circumstances as the violation, the person is subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both.

Administrative Penalties for a DUI in Maryland

In addition to Maryland DUI penalties imposed by the Court, the MVA may impose administrative penalties for being operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

Drivers stopped or detained and reasonable grounds exist to believe the driver has been driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle and under the influence or impaired by alcohol then Maryland Law requires that the driver be asked to submit to a test.

Informed Consent in Maryland

In these situations, the law deems that drivers have consented to take a test to measure the alcohol concentration or drug or controlled dangerous substance content in their system. Drivers may refuse to submit to the test(s), unless you were in a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of or life-threatening injury to another person. In those circumstances, the driver will be required to submit to a test.

Will the Police Officer Take My License?

If a driver refuses to submit to a test, or if a driver submits to a test and the result indicates an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of testing, the Maryland driver’s license shall be confiscated. The police officer will issue an Order of Suspension and, if eligible, a temporary license valid for 45 days.

How Long Will My License Be Suspended After a DUI Arrest in Maryland?

The following periods of suspension will be imposed against drivers in Maryland:

CDL and Drunk Driving Arrests in Maryland

If a person holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and was driving a non-commercial motor vehicle when stopped, and refuses to submit to a test, the CDL or privilege shall be disqualified for 1 year for a 1st offense or for life if the CDL or privilege has been previously disqualified for at least 1 year under Maryland Transportation Article §16-812 (a) or (b), a federal law, or any other state’s law. The Maryland DUI penalties while operating or holding a CDL can have serious affects on a driver’s ability to continue working.

If a driver was operating a commercial motor vehicle and the test result indicates an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, or if the drivers refuses to submit to a test, the commercial driver’s license or privilege shall be disqualified for a period of 1 year for a 1st offense, 3 years for a 1st offense committed while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded, and disqualified for life if your commercial driver’s license has been previously disqualified for at least 1 year and/or you have incurred 2 offenses of Maryland Transportation Article §16-812 (a) or (b), a federal law, or any substantially similar offense(s) under any other state’s law.

MVA Points and DUI Convictions

If a driver is convicted and receives a guilty finding, the MVA will assess points to that driver’s record. Too many points can result in loss of a driving privilege in Maryland. Maryland DUI penalties can vary depending on the outcome, make sure you speak with an experienced DUI lawyer about those outcomes.

The following are the penalties for too many points in Maryland:

If a driver receives a PBJ (Probation before Judgment), then the MVA will not access points to the driver’s record.

Points for a DUI or DWI Conviction in Maryland DUI Penalties

The following points will be assessed if a driver is convicted in Maryland. The Maryland DUI penalties for points assessed to a driver’s record are:

  1. 21-902 (a)(1) – 12 points;
  2. 21-902 (a)(2) – 12 points;
  3. 21-902 (a)(3) – 12 points;
  4. 21-902 (b)(1) – 8 points;
  5. 21-902 (b)(2) – 8 points;
  6. 21-902 (c)(1) – 8 points;
  7. 21-902 (c)(3) – 8 points;
  8. 21-902 (d)(1) – 12 points;
  9. 21-902 (d)(2) – 12 points;
  10. 21-902.1 – 8 points.

Maryland DUI Defense Lawyer

A DUI or DWI arrest can be scary and the thought of being exposed to the Maryland DUI penalties even scarier. The idea of losing your license or going to jail can be overwhelming. Contact the Maryland DUI lawyer Randolph Rice today at 410.288.2900 to schedule a consultation.

Randolph Rice is a former Assistant State’s Attorney and has been ranked by Super Lawyers, Avvo and Lead counsel as a 10 out of 10 Superb Lawyer. He has represented hundreds of individuals charged with DUI and DWI in Maryland.