Cantonsville DUI Lawyers
Return to Maryland DUI Lawyers
- Crawford, James:
DUI and DWI charges have become much more complex than "I was caught, what happens now?" Over the last Fifteen years the Maryland Legislature and police in every county through Maryland have been trained to target individuals who may be driving while Intoxicated. The Police have spent millions of tax dollars to set up procedures how to stop, test, arrest and turn your case over to the State's Attorneys Office for prosecution. Maryland Police produce manuals describing exact procedures to be used when giving field sobriety test. The basic test are:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus - Click here for additional information on this test
Walk and Turn
Horizontal Heal to toe
Finger to nose
One let stand
Other dexterity creative test
Police use "indicia" to try and show that you appear to be under the influence of alcohol. Some of the basic "indicia" are:
Defendant fumbled or had difficult time obtaining & showing police officer license or other care documents
Police smelled strong or moderate odor of alcohol (or other drug)
Defendant has blood shot eyes
Defendant had "mush mouth" he speaking
Defendant stumbled & looked disheveled
What you say to the Police officer also has an impact such as "I only had two (2) beers". It is extremely important that you contact my office immediately after you have been arrested. Trial preparation and understanding of the process will give you the best chance of a successful resolution in Court as well as the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Dozens important factors can influence the outcome of a case, including the level of penalties. For instance, the judge may wish to know:
The defendant's blood alcohol content (BAC) level
Who served the defendant alcohol
Who was in actual control of the vehicle (which can lead to questions about the vehicle's engine, parking brake and lights, the location of the vehicle, the condition of the defendant and the location of the defendant within the vehicle)
Whether property was damaged or injuries occurred in relation to the incident, and whether the defendant had previous DUI/DWI convictions
Answers and evidence relating to these and other questions may determine whether the defendant is found guilty and what level of penalties he or she will face.
Timing is also important. Strict deadlines apply to defendants' right to petition the MVA for an administrative hearing to prevent the suspension of their drivers' license.
Because of the complexity of DUI and DWI cases, and because the outcome of your case so crucial, it's important to work with an experienced and diligent criminal defense lawyer following drunk driving charges.
- Taylor, Michael:
If You Are Charged With DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) in Maryland, you need help to navigate the legal process quickly.
We strongly recommend that you request within ten days of your arrest a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings, located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. It is important to work quickly to prevent the loss of your driving privileges while you are preparing for your hearing and defense.
A lawyer can be very helpful in developing defenses to these type of license suspensions and may assist the driver in obtaining work or education-related driving privileges.
- Janey & Dixon:
The State of Maryland takes the crime of drunk driving very seriously. Persons who have been arrested for DUI or DWI need to take the charge seriously too. The arrest will very likely lead to the suspension of your driver's license. DUI/DWI conviction can lead to a hefty fine and a possible jail sentence.
If you face a DUI or DWI charge, effective representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential.
- Marc Peitersen:
If you—or a friend or loved one—has been pulled over by the highway patrol and charged with drunk driving, you have a limited amount of time to save your driver's license.
In Maryland, if you blew above .08, you face an administrative hearing to revoke your driver's license as well as criminal penalties. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will suspend your driver's license automatically if you do not ask for a hearing within 10 days from the date of your arrest.
- Jensen & Molidor:
Maryland DUI Law Highlights: BAC Levels and Implied Consent (Table 1)
"Per Se" BAC Level
"Zero Tolerance" BAC Level
Enhanced Penalty BAC Level
"Implied Consent" Law
"Per Se" Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Level
As of August 2005, all states have DUI laws that deem "per se intoxicated" any driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08 percent. This means that drivers with a BAC at or above .08 are intoxicated in the eyes of the law, and no additional proof of driving impairment is necessary.
"Zero Tolerance" Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Level
All states carry "zero tolerance" laws that target drivers under the legal drinking age. These laws penalize persons under 21 for operating a vehicle with any trace of alcohol in their systems (a BAC above 0.0), or with negligible BAC levels such as .01 or .02 percent.
"Enhanced Penalty" Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Level
Many states impose harsher penalties on DUI offenders with a particularly high BAC at the time of the offense, typically .15 to .20 percent. DUI offenders with a BAC at or above their state's enhanced penalty standards will likely face additional jail time, harsher fines, and more severe driver's license sanctions.
"Implied Consent" Laws
"Implied consent" laws require vehicle drivers to submit to some form of chemical test, such as breath, blood, or urine testing, if suspected of DUI. If a driver refuses to submit to such testing, implied consent laws carry penalties such as mandatory suspension of a driver's license, usually for six months to a year.
Maryland DUI Law Highlights: Selected Penalties (Table 2)
Administrative License Suspension/Revocation (1st/2nd/3rd Offense)
Mandatory Alcohol Education and Treatment/Assessment
Vehicle Confiscation Possible?
Ignition Interlock Device Possible?
60d/ 120d/ --
Note: Persons arrested for DUI will be subject to additional criminal law penalties not addressed here -- including jail time, fines, and community service. Such criminal penalties are typically more discretionary than those identified in this chart, and are therefore more difficult to accurately predict. Generally speaking, first-time DUI offenders can expect to incur a fine, and face the possibility of jail time. Repeat DUI offenders will incur harsher fines, and will almost certainly be sentenced to a number of days in jail. Penalties will be harsher still if the DUI offender was involved in an accident in which someone else was injured or killed.
Administrative License Suspension/Revocation
The Administrative License Suspension/Revocation penalties indicated here refer to minimum mandatory penalties imposed on drivers whose BAC is above the state limit for intoxication, or drivers who refuse to submit to BAC testing. Administrative suspension or revocation of a driver's license is usually carried out by a state agency (such as a Department of Motor Vehicles), distinct from any criminal court penalties. Most states impose harsher penalties for second or third DUI offenses, typically defined as those that occur within five years of a prior DUI offense.
Note: the penalties identified here do not include variations for DUI offenders operating commercial vehicles, or drivers who have violated "zero tolerance" and "enhanced penalty" DUI laws (see Table 1). Most states recognize different sanctions for these types of DUI offenses.
Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment
Alcohol education and treatment/assessment penalties for DUI offenders can include mandatory attendance at DUI prevention programs, and assessment of potential alcohol dependency problems. Such programs are often made "conditions" of a suspended sentence or probation, meaning that a DUI offender can avoid jail time and payment of hefty fines if he or she completes participation in the program. This chart indicates each state's utilization of alcohol education and treatment/assessment programs.
Vehicle confiscation penalties allow a motor vehicle department or law enforcement agency to seize a DUI offender's vehicle, either permanently or for a set period of time. Such penalties typically apply only to repeat DUI offenders, and often the return of the vehicle requires payment of fines and significant administrative costs. This chart indicates each state's utilization of vehicle confiscation as a penalty for DUI.
A vehicle ignition interlock breath-testing device measures a vehicle operator's BAC, and will prevent operation of the vehicle if more than a minimal amount of alcohol is detected (i.e. BAC level of .02). DUI offenders will usually be required to pay the costs of installation, rental, and maintenance of an ignition interlock device. This chart indicates each state's utilization of ignition interlock devices as a penalty for DUI.