What’s the difference between DWI and DUI charges?

| Sep 23, 2020 | Drunk Driving

The minute you see those flashing lights behind you after a night out celebrating with friends, you begin to worry. When the police pull you over, you hope you will be sober enough to avoid driving drunk. Yet if your blood alcohol content (BAC) registers at .08 or higher, you will be facing DUI charges. And if your BAC hits. 07, you still will face consequences in Maryland – you’ll be facing a DWI charge.

DUI conviction penalties

If you receive a DUI conviction in Maryland, you will face the following consequences:

  • For a first-time DUI: Up to two months in jail and a $1,000 fine
  • For a second-time DUI: Up to two years in jail (serving a minimum of five days) and a $2,000 fine
  • For a third-time DUI: Up to three years in jail and a $3,000 fine

DWI conviction penalties

DWIs can come from drunk driving with a .07 BAC or driving under the influence of drugs. In Maryland, DWI’s have lower consequences than a DUI. The DWI penalties are the following:

  • For a first-time DWI: Up to two months in jail and a $500 fine
  • For a second-time or subsequent DWI: Up to a year in jail and a $500 fine

DUIs and DWI also end up on your criminal record, showing up on background checks if you seek new employment or want to obtain a government job or specialized job training. You also will be paying higher car insurance rates after a DUI or DWI conviction.

Anytime you are facing a DUI or DWI charge, you need to take the situation seriously. You should contact a criminal defense attorney to see if you could get your drunk driving charges reduced or receive an alternative punishment that minimizes damages to your record. That’s the first step you can take to improving your situation.