If you’re a resident of Maryland and are facing your first DUI or DWI charge, you’re going to be feeling concerned about what the next steps will be.
A conviction for drinking and driving is likely to have personal and possibly even professional consequences. It’s a good idea to know what you’re facing so you can be prepared to deal with the case against you.
DUI v DWI – the different thresholds
Convicting someone of DWI (driving while impaired by alcohol) has a lower threshold than DUI (driving under the influence).
For a DWI conviction, the only proof needed is that the driver’s normal coordination was impaired to some extent by alcohol or drugs. As for a DUI, the driver must have been driving, or attempting to drive, with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08%. Alcohol or a controlled substance will have had a substantial effect on the driving.
What Penalty Should You Expect For a First Offense?
For a first offense, what’s the difference between the two offenses in Maryland? Even for a first offense, Maryland takes DUIs and DWIs seriously so it’s important you do too.
With a DWI, a first conviction can get you:
- A maximum of two months in jail
- Up to a $500 fine
- Six-month license suspension & eight points on your driving record
For a DUI, you’re facing:
- Six-month license suspension and 12 points on your driving record
- Up to a $1000 fine
- A maximum of one year in jail
- Participation in an alcohol abuse assessment program if deemed appropriate
What Action Should You Take If You’re Arrested for DUI?
If you find yourself in this position, the best thing you can do is to take control of the situation and speak to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. This can help you with building a defense and challenging the case against you.