Maryland uses strict laws to prohibit driving under the
influence of drugs or alcohol. People who are arrested for committing this
crime can face punishments ranging from loss of driving privileges to jail
Drivers in Maryland can avoid getting a DUI by knowing at
what limits that the state sets for blood alcohol content levels. They can also
benefit by being aware of what legal and civil punishments await those who are
convicted of DUI in Maryland.
BAC Limits in Maryland
Maryland establishes different categories for blood alcohol
contents or BACs for drivers in the state. The per se BAC limit for drivers who
are 21 and older and operate privately owned vehicles is higher than 0.08
percent. Driver who are found to have BACs higher than this limit can be
arrested for DUI.
Underage drivers, those younger than 21, are not supposed to
have any alcohol or drugs in their systems while driving. The legal allowable
limit for drivers in this age category is 0.02 percent. Young drivers with BACs
higher than 0.02 can be arrested for and charged with a DUI.
Commercial drivers also are held to a different BAC limit
because of the risk that their vehicles pose to the public. To keep other
motorists, pedestrians and others in the general public safe, the state imposes
a BAC limit of 0.04 percent for commercial drivers. They must keep their BACs
at or below this limit to avoid being arrested for DUI in Maryland.
The state also allows for circumstances that merit a DUI
being charged as an aggravated infraction. These criteria for aggravated DUI
in extremely reckless behavior
an excess amount of alcohol in one’s blood
a minor while driving under the influence
an accident that results in serious bodily harm or death
a repeat DUI offender
An aggravated DUI is met with harsher legal penalties than
standard DUIs in Maryland.
DUI Penalties in Maryland
The penalties for DUI in Maryland vary according to the
number of prior offenses and the severity of the damage inflicted during the
incidence. A first-time DUI offender can get penalties like:
- Up to
one year in jail
- A fine
of up to $1000
- Up to
six months’ license suspension
A second DUI in Maryland can result in up to two years in
jail, a fine of $2000, and a license suspension of up to nine months. A third
DUI in Maryland can be punished with a five-year jail term, a $5000 fine and a
12-month license suspension.
An aggravated DUI in Maryland merits penalties like:
minimum six-month license suspension
- A fine
of $500 to $1000
year in jail
ignition interlock device or IID on the offender’s car
alcohol or drug rehabilitation counseling
For the purposes of determining a person’s license
suspension period in Maryland, his or her prior DUI convictions will not be
counted if they took place more than five years ago.
Underage DUI Penalties in Maryland
Maryland has a zero-tolerance law for underage drinking and
driving. Drivers under the age of 21 cannot have a BAC of more than 0.02
percent. If they do, they face consequences like a jail term of one year and a
fine of $1000. They can also get 12 points on their driving record.
In truth, most first-time underage DUI offenders in Maryland
do not incur jail time or points on their driving record. However, they do
commonly have to pay a $500 fine.
Implied Consent Laws in Maryland
Maryland has an implied consent law that requires drivers to
provide blood, urine or breath samples to determine their BAC levels. They give
consent in exchange for their driving privileges in the state.
If they refuse, drivers can have their licenses seized by
the arresting officer and have a temporary 10-day license issued in its place.
The officer must file his report with the motor vehicle administration, and the
driver must request an administrative hearing within 10 days.
A first-time refusal to comply with chemical testing can
also result in a loss of one’s license for 270 days. A second refusal can
result in a loss of the license for up to two years if the first refusal took
place within five years.
Ignition Interlock Device Program and Hardship Licenses
Maryland requires certain DUI offenders to use IIDs on their
vehicles. In particular, this device is required for:
charged with alcohol-related DUIs
who were arrested for DUI with a passenger under 16 in the car
offenders under the age of 21
offenders who have prior DUIs within five years on their records
People who are ordered to use IIDs and have their licenses
suspended can ask the state to issue them hardship licenses with limitations.
The criteria for getting a hardship license include:
180 days with an IID if arrested for DUI with a BAC of 0.08 to 0.14
one year with an IID if arrested for DUI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher
one year with an IID if arrested for DUI for refusing a chemical test
Drivers who had BACs of less than 0.15 percent can also
request a hardship license during their suspension period.
Driving under the influence is a significant crime in
Maryland. To dissuade drivers from engaging in this behavior, the state uses a
variety of DUI laws that set the legal limits for blood alcohol content levels.
People found to be
driving with BACs higher than the established limits can be arrested for and
charged with DUI and incur a variety of penalties ranging from civil fines,
jail time and loss of their drivers’ license.