Maryland DUI Consequences
Drinking and driving is not just dangerous—it’s a serious crime in the United States. While federal law prohibits any person from driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, each state has its own set of laws to specify the penalties for the offense. As these laws become tougher and tougher with each passing year, countless motorists find themselves facing serious punishment for their actions. Maryland DUI consequences, for example, include a number of penalties such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
If this is your first DUI, you can expect to pay $1,000 in fines and lose your driver’s license for a year or more if you are convicted of the charge. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the judge may also sentence you to up a year in jail.
Should you be convicted of a second offense within five years after your first DUI, you’ll face a minimum $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail. Your driving privileges will also be revoked again—and once your license is restored, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle (which means you’ll have to perform a breathalyzer before you can operate your vehicle).
After two prior DUI convictions, the penalties for a third or future drunk driving conviction will include a minimum 18-month license suspension, $3,000 fine, and up to a three-year jail sentence. In addition, you will face additional charges if you were transporting a minor at the time of your arrest.
Of course, there are many other consequences to consider other than the court-imposed penalties. A drunk driving conviction can have a permanent impact on your daily life, as your offense will be reflected on your criminal record—which means anyone who conducts a background check will find out that you were found guilty of drunk driving. As more and more employers, housing providers, and even educational institutions now require applicants to have an unblemished criminal history, this means your conviction can jeopardize countless opportunities in the future.
One final thing you may want to consider is how a DUI conviction will affect your financial freedom. Along with paying thousands of dollars in fines, you will continue to incur additional expenses long after you have fulfilled your sentencing requirements. For example, before your driving privileges are restored, you must pay to have your license reinstated. You can also expect your auto insurance rates to increase following your conviction, as the average company charges convicted DUI offenders two to three times more for coverage—and in most cases, it may be years before your rates are reduced.
As you can see, the consequences of a Maryland DUI conviction are no laughing matter. If you were recently arrested for drunk driving, it is important to obtain legal representation if you want to improve your chances of obtaining a successful outcome in court and reduce or avoid the penalties listed above.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case, submit your information online today. A skilled DUI defense attorney in your area will contact you for an appointment.