If you’ve been picked up for driving under the influence in Baltimore, Maryland, you could be facing some serious consequences. That’s why it’s essential that you have a DUI attorney in Maryland who understands the intricacies of the laws against driving while impaired.
First, you should understand the distinction between DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while impaired).
You can be charged with a DUI in Maryland if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. You can get arrested for DWI if your BAC is .06 or more.
Understanding the Penalties of Drunk Driving Offenses
There are serious consequences for even a first drunk driving offense.
At the minimum, in Maryland you could have your license suspended for six months and receive 12 points on your license. But you could also face up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. (The penalties for DWI are only a little less severe—60 day license suspension, eight points on your license and a potential for a fine of $500 and 60 days in jail.)
You’ll face even steeper penalties for second and third offenses, with jail time up to three years, fines up to $3,000 and your license lost for 18 months.
And don’t think you’ll be able to avoid charges by simply refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. That can result in the police office taking your license immediately, right at the scene of the traffic stop. And the only modification you are allowed for the license suspension for refusing to take the Breathalyzer is to have an Ignition Interlock installed on your vehicle.
If you refuse a Breathalyzer test and you’re convicted of a DUI, you could face enhanced penalties of an additional two months in jail and a $500 fine.
How a Baltimore DUI Attorney Can Help You
When you’re facing such serious consequences you’ll want to be sure that you have an advocate working on your behalf to makes sure that all laws have been followed and that your rights have been protected during your arrest.
Here’s how DUI defense attorneys generally prepare their clients for a court case in Baltimore County or in the city:
- They will go over every aspect of the case, starting with what you were doing when you were pulled over. For example, were you looking at your cell phone or changing radio stations right before you were pulled over? You might be guilty of that rather than of DUI.
- They’ll question you about what happened during the traffic stop to determine if proper procedure was followed, including proper advisement of your Miranda rights.
- They will ask if you had been using any prescription or over-the-counter medicine that could have contributed to your erratic driving or given a false positive on a Breathalyzer test.
Your DUI Attorney may also raise other issues involving your arrest, including:
- Did the police officer who pulled you over give you any reasons for the traffic stop? Were you swerving on the road, for example? Pulled over to the side? An officer may not pull you over unless there is probable cause for a stop.
- When was the Breathalyzer, which measured your blood alcohol content, last serviced or calibrated? A meter that hasn’t been properly maintained may not produce correct readings. If there is any doubt, your lawyer may ask to see the maintenance record for that particular piece of equipment.
Getting convicted of a DUI or a DWI offense is a life-changing event—and it won’t change your life in a positive way. Your job could be in jeopardy and your family and friends may be embarrassed if you are found guilty. So when it comes to going to court to face a charge of DUI or DWI, it pays to be prepared with one of Baltimore County’s top DUI attorneys who understand how to evaluate the evidence against you and make the best case for your defense. You can also help your case by remembering as many details as possible before, during and after your arrest.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drunk driving offense, contact Dilip Paliath, Esq., one of the leading DWI and DUI defense attorneys in Baltimore County. Contact us today to schedule an appointment: 410-494-1494.