Being convicted of driving under the influence in Maryland is a serious legal matter, and especially for those convicted multiple times. Even a first-offense charge carries substantial penalties upon conviction. Additionally, it is not necessary to be drinking alcohol at the time of a traffic stop in order to be charged with impaired driving. While there is no approved mechanical equipment for testing for other chemicals such as prescription drugs, there are still provisions for a blood test when failing a field sobriety test.
While a first DUI conviction in Maryland does not carry mandatory jail time, many convicted drivers do receive an incarceration sentence when they have an excessive BAC reading beyond .08. Aggravated charges can even be applied if the reading is above .149. Minimum fine is $1000 with a drivers license suspension of up to six months. Eight demerit points are assessed against the drivers license of those convicted.
Penalties increase with multiple offenses for DUI in Maryland. A mandatory jail term of five days is always imposed. Driving privileges can be suspended for up to one year and a $2000 fine may also be assessed. Those convicted of impaired driving twice within five years will be ordered to install an ignition interlock device with a breathalyzer that must be cleared before starting the vehicle and driving.
Those drivers who have not learned their lesson with two DUI convictions are assuredly facing a harsh reaction from the court. The minimum jail sentence is 120 days with a one year potential, a minimum $2500 fine with potential up to $3000, and a 3-5 year driving privilege suspension including a 30-month ADE school completion during the period required for driving privilege reinstatement. There are also substantial reinstatement fees as well.
Maryland is also an implied consent state, which means that refusing sobriety testing can result in immediate driving privilege suspension. It is clear that impaired driving is serious in Maryland, and everyone should think seriously when driving after drinking.