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The distinction between DUI and DWI

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drunk Driving

You know it is unwise to get behind the wheel with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% or higher. However, if you are confident your level of intoxication is under this, you may believe it is safe (and legal) to drive.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case in the state of Maryland.

Drunk driving charges in Maryland explained

Maryland’s statutes provide two types of impaired driving charges. One is DUI (driving under the influence) and the other is DWI (driving while impaired). When facing criminal charges, knowing the specific consequences you may face is always helpful.

  • DUI: DUI charges occur if you have a BAC of 0.08% or more. The consequences of a DUI conviction include up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
  • DWI: You can be arrested and charged with DWI if your BAC reads between 0.07% and 0.08%. It is also possible to face this charge if you are impaired due to mixing alcohol and drugs, and anyone under 21 will receive a DWI for any level of alcohol. This charge can result in 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. For repeat offenders, the jail time can increase to as much as one year.  

As you can see, the penalties for DUI are typically more severe, but both charges can result in up to a year in jail, which means (if you are like most people) you want to avoid this situation completely.

Protecting your rights after a DUI or DWI charge

It is important to know your rights if you are charged with DUI or DWI. In some situations, reducing the charges you are facing may minimize the consequences of a conviction.