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Drunk and Impaired Driving Laws in Maryland

DUI5

In order to safeguard public roadways within the state, it is illegal in Maryland to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances. To regulate this type of dangerous behavior, Maryland has strict laws and penalties for intoxicated or impaired driving. Given the gravity of the potential consequences, drivers should understand the rules and penalties under Maryland law.

Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol

Under Maryland Transportation Code Section 21-902, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit in Maryland is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. If a driver meets or exceeds that BAC level there is a presumption that they are driving under the influence of alcohol.

The penalties for driving while under the influence of alcohol are as follows:

  • First Conviction — May lead to a 12-month prison sentence and up to $1,000 in fines;
  • Second Conviction — May lead to a 24-month prison sentence and up to $2,000 in fines; and
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction — May lead to a 36-month prison sentence and up to $3,000 in fines.

Driving While Impaired by Alcohol

It is illegal under Section 21-902 to drive while impaired by alcohol. In this context, impairment means that a person is incapable of driving safely, which puts other people or property in danger.

The penalties for driving while impaired by alcohol are as follows:

  • First Conviction — May lead to a 2-month prison sentence and up to $500 in fines;
  • Second Conviction — May lead to a 12-month prison sentence and up to $500 in fines; and
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction — May lead to a 36-month prison sentence and up to $3,000 in fines.

Driving While Impaired by Drugs

It is illegal under Section 21-902 to drive while impaired by a drug or a combination of drugs and alcohol. As with the previous section, impairment applies when a person is incapable of driving safely.

The penalties for driving while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol are as follows:

  • First Conviction — May lead to a 2-month prison sentence and up to $500 in fines;
  • Second Conviction — May lead to a 12-month prison sentence and up to $500 in fines; and
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction — May lead to a 36-month prison sentence and up to $3,000 in fines.

Driving While Impaired by a Controlled Substance

It is illegal under Section 21-902 to drive while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, which means any drug listed as a controlled dangerous substance by either federal or state law, examples of which are things such as heroin and cocaine.  As with the previous sections, impairment applies when a person is incapable of driving safely.

The penalties for driving while impaired by a controlled substance are as follows:

  • First Conviction — May lead to a 12-month prison sentence and up to $1,000 in fines;
  • Second Conviction — May lead to a 24-month prison sentence and up to $2,000 in fines; and
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction — May lead to a 36-month prison sentence and up to $3,000 in fines.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have legal questions about driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances in Maryland, it can be extremely advantageous to speak with a proficient criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 55 years of combined legal experience in criminal defense, including driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

Resource:

mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gtr&section=21-902&ext=html&session=2018RS&tab=subject5

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