Maryland Drunk Driving Offenses: The Difference Between DUI and DWI
Maryland drunk driving offenses are charged as either DUI, DWI or both.
-DUI: Under Maryland law, driving under the influence (DUI) can be proven by a test result of .08% alcohol or more or by evidence showing that the driver's normal coordination has been substantially impaired as a result of the consumption of alcohol. The maximum penalties are 1 year and $1000 for a first offense, 2 years and $2000 for a second offense, and 3 years and $3000 for a third offense. DUI also carries 12 points with the MVA and at a hearing the driver's license may be revoked.
-DWI: Driving while impaired (DWI), although a lesser offense under Maryland law, is still a serious crime and can be established by evidence showing that the driver's normal coordination was impaired to some extent as a result of the consumption of alcohol. This offense can be proved by evidence of a test result of .01% or more, but less than .08%. The maximum penalty is 60 days and $500 for a first offense and one year and $500 for a subsequent offense. DWI also carries 8 points with the MVA and at a hearing the driver's license may be suspended.
In many cases, a criminal defendant is charged with both DUI and DWI. A defendant, however, will only be penalised for one of the two offenses. In the event of a conviction for both offenses, the lessor charge DWI will merge into the higher offense (DUI). It should also be noted that in the event a defendant has prior offenses, the prosecutor may elect to seek enhanced or more severe penalties.
The offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) are two of the most common criminal charges faced by Maryland citizens every year. A DUI/DWI conviction can result in the loss of driving privileges, severe fines, and possibly imprisonment. Even the most responsible individuals are at risk of DUI/DWI charges when driving home after having only a couple of drinks. Facing drunk driving charges can be one of the most embarrassing and stressful times in a person’s life. The attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White, L.L.C., are highly skilled and experienced in representing criminal defendants charged with DUI/DWI. The Firm actively and aggressively represents its clients faced with such charges by counseling each defendant through the criminal process, asserting and exercising all rights of the defendant that are available, and meticulously examining the factual scenario leading to the charges, to highlight a few of the legal services Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White provides to its clients in this area.
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