There are two ways you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the state of Maryland. First, if you are under the influence of alcohol to the point where it interferes with your ability to drive safely, you can be arrested for drunk driving. Also, if you violate the state's per se law, you will be arrested. Under Maryland's per se law, you can be arrested for drunk driving if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .07% or higher. This is a lower limit than most states. Even if your driving is not impaired, if your BAC level is .07% or higher, you can be arrested. If you test between .07% and .08%, you will be convicted of a DWI. For levels above .08%, the charge changes to a DUI, which carries stricter consequences.DUI Arrests in Maryland
If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI, you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. This test will determine whether your conviction will be a DWI or a DUI. You can refuse to take the test, but the refusal will be considered an admission of guilt in your court case.
Your conviction will spark two cases, one in the courts and one with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. After your arrest, you will only have 10 days to request the Motor Vehicle Administration hearing. If you do not make the request correctly, you will lose your right to drive. You need the help of a qualified DUI attorney to help you file this paperwork in order to fight for your right to drive.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are arrested for your first drunk driving offense, the consequences you face will depend on whether you are charged with DUI or DWI. For DUI convictions, you will face the following:
Subsequent offenses carry stricter penalties.License Suspensions for Maryland DUI
Besides your court case, you will also face an administrative hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration as a result of your Maryland DUI arrest. This hearing will determine the length of your license suspension. Typical license suspensions are as follows:
These penalties can be increased if there are extenuating circumstances in your case. For instance, if you refuse to take a BAC test with your first Maryland DUI arrest, you will instantly face a 120-day license suspension. If you are convicted of a DWI for the first time, you will only face a 45-day suspension. Subsequent DWI offenses will cost you your license for 90 days.Insurance Consequences
When you are done serving your license suspension time, you will have to prove that you have liability insurance coverage before you can start driving again. However, you may find that this is extremely difficult. Depending on your insurance provider's policies, you may lose your coverage for your DUI conviction. If your insurance provider does not drop your policy, you will find your rates increased. If you are dropped, you will have to find a new provider before you will be given your license back.