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The offense of DUI leading to life-threatening injuries

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving

Maryland considers the act of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs as a criminal offense because such reckless behavior can result in injuries. A drunk driver might have poor control of their vehicle, raising their risk of causing a collision.

But what happens if an inebriated driver causes a crash that severely injures other people?

Law enforcement can charge the driver for causing a life-threatening injury while under the influence of alcohol. What is this offense, what are the penalties and is it separate from DUI charges?

Drunk driving leading to injuries is a separate offense

A DUI charge deals with the act of operating a vehicle under the influence. However, causing a life-threatening injury while DUI is a distinct and more serious charge. Maryland even has a law prohibiting intoxicated drivers from causing accidents that lead to life-threatening injuries. A violation of this rule is a misdemeanor.

Facing dual charges

An individual involved in an accident while driving under the influence can face both charges simultaneously; one for DUI and another for causing life-threatening injuries. The latter charge requires proof that the person’s negligent actions, while under the influence, directly led to another’s critical injuries.

The penalties for causing life-threatening injuries

If a court convicts a person of DUI causing life-threatening injuries, they face up to three years of imprisonment and $5,000 in fines. However, a subsequent conviction for the same offense leads to up to five years of imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.

Driving while intoxicated is dangerous for the driver and anyone else on the road. If an impaired driver causes injuries, they can expect two criminal offenses on their record. If you face DUI and DUI causing life-threatening injuries charges, you don’t have to tackle them alone. A legal professional can advise you on your cases and help you plan your defense for both.