Maryland law takes drinking and driving very seriously and even allows for charges against drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.07 percent in certain instances. But that one-point discrepancy in BAC makes a huge difference in penalties and sentencing. For example, first-time DWI offenders face a $500 fine, 60-day driver's license suspension, eight points on their license, and up to two months in jail. First-time DUI offenders, meanwhile, can be fined $1,000, a six-month license suspension, 12 points on their license, and up to one year in jail. Also, a law enacted on Oct. 1, 2016 mandates the use of an ignition interlock device after a conviction for a DUI (or for certain DWI offenses).
Learn more about Maryland's DUI/DWI laws below.
Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.
Maryland Impaired Driving Law: DUI vs. DWI
Maryland law allows prosecutors to file two different kinds of charges against impaired motorists: driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI). While DUI conforms with the 0.08 percent BAC limit followed by other states, a DWI may be charged if the motorist has a BAC of at least 0.07 percent. The key difference, other than penalties upon conviction, is that a DWI requires additional evidence of impairment. So while someone with a BAC of 0.08 percent is considered "per se" impaired, a motorist with a BAC of 0.07 percent must have been seen swerving or otherwise showing signs of impairment in order to be arrested.
Maryland DUI Resources
- Maryland DUI Statute: Driving Under the Influence (navigate to Me. Rev. Stat. 29 2411).
- Maryland Impaired Driving Laws - Summary of Maryland DUI law, including information about under age alcohol violations (Maryland Motor Vehical Administration).
- Noah's Law - Information about changes in the law that require those convicted of DUI or DWI to install an IID (Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration).
- DUI Repeat Offenders - Basics on license suspension and ignition interlock requirements for repeat DUI offenders (Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration).
- Ignition Interlock - Basics on Maryland's ignition interlock program, along with relevant links (Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration).
- 12 Hour Alcohol Education Program - Details on eligibility for alcohol education programs required following certain DUI offenses (Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration).
- Reinstatement of a Revoked Driver's License - General information and instructions about how to reinstate your license after a period of revocation (Maryland Motor Vehical Administration).
- What are the Maryland DUI Laws? - Additional information about Maryland's DUI laws, including more details about penalties and sentencing (FindLaw).
- DUI Law - Comprehensive coverage of DUI laws, common defenses, information about breath alcohol monitors, and more (FindLaw).
Get Help With Your Case From a Maryland DUI Attorney
Since Maryland law allows for lesser charges for those with a 0.07 percent BAC, the chances of being arrested for impaired driving are amplified. A legal professional can help you understand the laws while working tirelessly to challenge the evidence and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Get started by contacting a Maryland DUI attorney today.