It may seem like no big deal to have a drink at happy hour after work or at a party at a friend’s house. However, if you drink and then get behind the wheel of a car, it is possible that you could be pulled over by police and accused of drunk driving — a situation that can have serious consequences. The following is a brief overview of Maryland’s drunk driving laws, as well as the ways alcohol can affect your system even if you are below the legal limit.
Drunk driving laws in Maryland
Maryland recognizes several drunk driving laws, including DUI and DWI. You will be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or above. In this situation, you are determined to be under the influence “per se” and the police do not need any other evidence to arrest you for drunk driving.
However, you can be charged with a drunk driving offense even if your BAC is below the legal limit. In Maryland, you can be charged with DWI if your BAC is 0.07% or lower, and police determine through observations or field sobriety tests that you are unable to safely drive. DWI is a lesser offense than DUI.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol can impair your system even if you are below the legal limit. If you have had approximately three standard alcoholic beverages, your BAC may be around 0.05%. In this situation, you may find that your coordination and ability to track moving objects is more difficult. Steering your vehicle may also be more difficult. In addition, your ability to respond to an emergency situation may also be reduced.
However, what if you have only had approximately two standard alcoholic beverages, and your BAC is only around 0.02%? Can this affect your driving abilities? Possibly. Those with a BAC of 0.02% may find it more difficult to rapidly track moving targets or perform two tasks at the same time.
Learn more about drunk driving in Maryland
Being charged with DWI or DUI in Maryland is a situation that can lead to undesirable consequences. Thus, it is important that those facing drunk driving charges take the steps necessary to protect their interests. Our firm’s webpage on drunk driving may be a good starting point for those who want to learn more about their rights and options.