A first-offense DUI or DWI in Maryland results in both criminal and administrative penalties. In, Maryland DUI (when the driver's BAC is .08% or higher) and DWI (when the driver's BAC is .04% to .08%) offenses are separate charges with varying degrees of severity. Knowing where you stand, in terms of charges, potential penalties, and defense methods, is important and only possible through consulting with a Maryland DUI/DWI lawyer.
- First-offense DWI, or driving while impaired, results in administrative license suspension of six months. Reinstatement will require completion of an alcohol/substance abuse assessment and treatment program. Additionally, at the discretion of courts, ignition interlock device may be mandated.
- First-offense DUI, or driving under the influence, carries administrative license suspension penalties of six months as well, with the same stipulations regarding reinstatement of license following suspension period.
How Much Will it Cost?
To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.
- First-offense DWI doesn't require mandatory minimum periods of incarceration, but offenders face potential of incarceration up to two months. However, if the offender was transporting a minor at the time of arrest, the offense carries up to six months in jail.
- First-offense DUI doesn't require mandatory minimum periods of incarceration, but offenders face potential of incarceration up to one year. And offenders who were transporting a minor at the time of arrest face up to two years incarceration.
- Fines for first-offense DWI carry penalties of not more than $500, or not more than $1,000 with minor present. Fines for DWI first offense stand at not more than $1,000, or not more than $2,000 with minor present. Fines do not include fees, surcharges, and other expenses incurred during completion of sentence or reinstatement process.
- Convictions influence charge and sentencing of future DUI/DWI arrests in Maryland for a period of five years.
Getting Legal Help
Statutory language in Maryland does not outright bar plea options that reduce DUI/DWI offenses into lesser criminal or non-criminal charges. Likewise, defendants, upon advice and representation of legal counsel, are free to negotiate plea deals involving favorable terms, or if case-specific conditions exist, obtain dismissal of charges. For more information and insight, consult with a Maryland first offense DUI/DWI lawyer.