The incidents of drunk driving spike in Maryland every holiday season, and yet another one took place in Bel Air last Saturday night. A six-car pileup involving a total of nine vehicles occurred on Baltimore Pike at around 6 p.m, and fortunately did not result in injuries.
The driver who caused the accident, Victoria Jett, 53, of Baltimore, was headed south near South Kelly Avenue and South Atwood Road when she failed to slow down during heavy congested traffic in the 400 block of Baltimore Pike. Jett’s care collided with the car in front of her, causing the six-car chain reaction collision. She was charged with DUI and speeding.
No one was injured, but the accident caused three vehicles to be towed and an extended period of congestion while authorities cleared the area.
Maryland DUI and DWI laws
Maryland drunk driving laws are tough and carry stiff penalties. Many people, however, do not realize that in Maryland, there are two classifications for intoxication that carry penalties with different degrees of severity.
Persons charged with driving under the influence (DUI) allegedly have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. The maximum sentence for first-time offenders is a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Second and third offences will lead to double or triple the penalties. A DUI conviction results in 12 points and possible license revocation.
An individual charged with driving while impaired, or DWI, will face less severe penalties on conviction. A breath test that determines a BAC of between .07 and .08 results in a DWI, and a first offender may face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, with penalties mounting with each repeated offense. A DWI conviction results in 8 points and possible license suspension.
Refusal to take the breath test in either case will result in immediate confiscation of the individual’s driver’s license. A paper license will allow the driver to drive for 45 days, with the suspension beginning on the 46th day.
Defending yourself against drunk driving charges
If there have been irregularities in the arrest or search process or a question of how reliable the breath test was, your charges can be dismissed or reduced. Depending on your case, it is also possible to avoid license suspension and minimize fines or jail time.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, it is important to have an experienced defense attorney in the Marlboro area who will fight to minimize the damage done to you by charges or conviction.