Maryland DUI/DWI Lawyer
A drunk driving arrest can seriously impact your job, your family, and ultimately your freedom. Maryland police and prosecutors take all forms of drunk driving quite seriously and will not hesitate to pursue alleged offenders to the fullest extent of the law. That is why you need to contact the experienced Maryland DUI/DWI defense lawyers at Henault & Sysko Chartered if you have been arrested and charged with DUI or DWI.
DUI vs. DWI
In Maryland, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) are defined as separate criminal offenses. A DUI is what most people typically associate with drunk driving–that is, driving or having physical control of a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. But even with a BAC of just 0.07 percent, you can still be charged with DWI if there is evidence that drinking has affected your “normal condition.” Maryland police typically charge drivers with DWI if they fail one or more field sobriety tests and are just near the line of 0.08 percent.
Keep in mind, Maryland is also an “implied consent” state. This means that by simply operating a motor vehicle on the state’s roads, you are presumed to consent to a breath or blood test if an officer determines there is probable cause to suspect you of DUI or DWI. You can still withhold consent, but your refusal will lead to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license–up to 270 days for a first offense, and 2 years for each subsequent offense.
Of course, your license can also be suspended if you are convicted of DUI or DWI. And that is on top of more serious criminal penalties. For example, a first-time DUI conviction in Maryland carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. These penalties double–2 years in jail and a $2,000 fine–for a second offense. And while DWI is a less-serious offense, a first-time offender can still be sentenced to 2 months in jail and fined $500.
And under Maryland’s “Noah’s Law,” which took effect in October 2016, a person convicted of DUI or certain DWI offenses is required to install and use an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles. For first offenses, IID use is mandatory for six months, and in some cases a driver may opt-in to the program voluntary in lieu of serving a license suspension.
Our DUI/DWI Defense Lawyers Can Help
Aside from possible jail time and the loss of driving privileges, a DWI or DUI conviction can affect your life in other ways. Many employers do not look kindly on employees with drunk driving records. And if you work in a sensitive field that requires a security clearance, a DWI can jeopardize your ability to find or retain work. Therefore, it is essential you seek out advice from a qualified Glen Burnie criminal defense lawyer who has experience in dealing with DWI and DUI cases.
Contact Henault & Sysko Chartered today if you have been charged with drunk driving and need to schedule a consultation with an attorney right away.