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What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Maryland?

| Mar 17, 2020 | DUI/DWI |

Drunk driving charges are serious and can have significant consequences for affected parties’ futures. In Maryland, drunk driving laws can take on different forms and carry with them different punishments. This post will offer an overview of two different drunk driving offenses and what they have in common. Readers are reminded that this post should not be read as legal advice and that criminal defense attorneys can be consulted by those with further questions.

When an individual is stopped for suspected drunk driving they may be asked to submit to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing. This testing determines how much alcohol a person has in their blood and if their test indicates that their BAC is at or above .08% then they may be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).

A DUI conviction can impose heavy burdens on a Rockville resident. For example, a first-time DUI may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail. A driver may also have 12 points added to their license and can face a long suspension for their alleged crime.

When a driver’s BAC is under .08% then they still may face a drunk driving charge. That charge is called driving while impaired (DWI). Drivers charged with DWI cannot be convicted on their BAC levels alone; additional evidence must be presented. However, a DWI conviction is not insignificant. The penalties for DWI charges can include but are not limited to $500 fines and several months in jail.

Drunk driving charges should not be taken lightly and can have long-term consequences on the lives of Maryland residents. Help is available to those facing DUI and DWI charges in the form of legal defense support. Attorneys who work in the DUI/DWI defense field can assist their clients with strategies to move past their drunk driving charges.