It is, obviously, never a good idea to drive while you are obviously impaired as a result of having too much to drink. However, if you’re over the age of 21 and you’re not operating a commercial vehicle, you are technically permitted to drive with some alcohol in your system, as long as your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) doesn’t meet or exceed the legal limit of 0.08%.
This BAC limit recognizes that a very minimal amount of alcohol in the system is unlikely to result in impairment. So, many motorists understandably choose to drive if they’ve had a single drink and some time has passed since they finished that drink. Surely, imbibing responsibly in that way makes it a fine idea to drive home, right?
Some risks just aren’t worth taking
While it is unlikely that you’ll be cited for driving under the influence (DUI) if you have a single drink – or two – and then wait a considerable amount of time before getting behind the wheel, there are certain circumstances under which you will want to avoid taking this risk. Certain factors in a DUI case will escalate a motorist’s situation to an aggravated DUI in Maryland, which will result in far harsher penalties in the event of a conviction.
One of the most notable aggravating factors is driving with minor children. If your BAC is even one one-hundredth of a percent over the legal limit and you have minor children in the car at the time that you’re stopped, you will be charged with an aggravated DUI. A conviction under these circumstances could affect your freedom, your finances, your future and – if you co-parent – even your child custody rights.
In the event that you’re charged with an aggravated DUI, you’ll want to seek legal guidance promptly so that you can start building a strong defense. But, ideally, you’ll want to avoid placing yourself in this position by never driving with kids in the car after you have had anything whatsoever to drink.