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DUI vs. DWI: What’s the difference in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2023 | Drunk Driving

Different states use different terms to describe drunk driving charges. Somewhat confusingly, Maryland uses both DUI and DWI, but they mean slightly different things.

Here is how they differ;

Driving under the influence (DUI) is the more serious charge

This is the charge the arresting officers will give you if they find your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or over. If you are driving a commercial vehicle at the time, it applies at 0.04% BAC. If you are under 21, the DUI applies at 0.02% BAC.

Driving while impaired is a lesser charge, but it’s still a serious one

A DWI applies if you test between 0.07% and 0.08% BAC. Remember, breathalyzers are not infallible, and testing errors could push you over the boundary toward a DUI.

You could still face charges below these limits

The police can still issue you with a DWI if they feel your driving suggests alcohol or another substance was impairing your driving. The police often look for what they consider erratic driving behaviors as a reason to pull someone over and test them. But just because you pass a BAC test doesn’t mean they will send you on your way. They may still try and push ahead with charging you based on how they say you were driving. If this happens, you can try to counter their interpretation of your driving in court.

Whichever of the two charges you face, it’s wise to get legal help, as a conviction for either will have a detrimental effect on your life.