What is the maximum penalty for DUI and DWI?
The maximum penalty for a first DUI is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The maximum penalty for a first DWI is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, with good legal representation, it is uncommon for a first offender to receive anything close to the maximum sentence.
What is Probation Before Judgment (PBJ)?
Many first-time offenders, even if they are convicted, are offered a PBJ. A PBJ removes the finding of guilt from your record, and imposes probation instead. This means that you do not get any points assessed against your driver’s license and your insurance rates usually don’t go up.
How long can I lose my driver’s license if this is my first offense?
If your blood alcohol content (BAC) on the Breathalyzer machine at the police station was between 0.08 and 0.15, you could lose your license for 45 days. If your result was 0.15 or higher, you could lose your license for 90 days.
If you refused to take a breath test, you could lose your license for 120 days.
Will I be able to drive for work if my license is suspended?
If your BAC was less than 0.15, you are eligible for a restricted license. This would allow you to drive for work, school, medical appointments, and alcohol education during the time your license is suspended.
If your BAC was greater than 0.15 or you refused to take a breath test, the only type of modified license you are eligible for requires you to install an Ignition Interlock system in your vehicle for one year.
What is an Ignition Interlock system?
An Ignition Interlock is a Portable Breath Testing device that attaches to your vehicle. You need to blow into it when you start your car, and periodically while you are driving. If it detects alcohol on your breath, it stops you from being able to start your vehicle.
How quickly must I request a hearing before the MVA suspends my license?
You must request your MVA hearing no later than 30 days from the day you were issued your Order of Suspension. However, if you want a temporary license, which would allow you to drive until your hearing date, you must request a hearing within 10 days.
Am I required to do a roadside sobriety test or blow into a Portable Breath Test (PBT) if asked by an officer?
Absolutely not. In Maryland, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and PBT are completely voluntary. If you do not wish to do the tests, the officer cannot force you to do so.
Can I call a lawyer before I decide whether or not to blow into the Breathalyzer machine at the police station?
Yes. If you ask to speak to an attorney, the police must allow you the opportunity as long as it does not interfere with the test.