What is the Difference Between DWI & DUI in Maryland?
Get Answers from a Salisbury Criminal Defense Attorney
While many people use the terms driving while impaired (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) interchangeably to refer to the act of drunk driving, in the state of Maryland, these are treated as separate offenses.
While these charges are similar in nature and are often charged at the same time, these offenses can carry different penalties upon conviction. Regardless of the specifics, any type of drunk driving charge is a serious matter and must be handled by an experienced attorney in order to be successfully defended against.
I, Attorney William R. Hall, have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with DWI and DUI throughout Salisbury and the surrounding areas for more than 20 years. Having earning a Superb Avvo Rating and a ranking among the Top 1% of Attorneys voted by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel for my firm’s unparalleled advocacy and skills, I understand the laws and regulations which influence your situation and can provide the aggressive representation you need to minimize your chances of conviction.
Call (410) 205-1684 or contact my office online today to get started towards building your defense.
What are Maryland's Drunk Driving Laws?
DWI and DUI are both charges the state of Maryland can bring against someone accused of drunk driving. Under Maryland drunk driving laws, motorists who register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.07% or higher will be charged with driving while impaired (DWI). An individual with a BAC of 0.08% or higher with be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
As such, DUI charges are the more serious of the two. While prosecutors may charge a defendant with both DUI and DWI at the same time, a defendant may only be convicted of one of these charges. If convicted of DUI, the DWI charge will be merged into the DUI charge. Conversely, defendants convicted of DWI may not be convicted of DUI as the elements of DWI fall short of those for DUI. As such, DUI charges are essentially a more serious DWI.
A first-offense DWI conviction can carry the following penalties:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
- 8 driver’s license points
- Maximum 6 month license suspension
Penalties for a first-offense DUI conviction are more serious:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- 12 driver’s license points
- Driver’s license revocation up to 6 months
These penalties can be increased significantly if a driver has previous drunk driving convictions, as well as in situations where a minor child is in the vehicle at the time of arrest. It is also important to remember that drivers under age 21 can be charged with DUI for a BAC of just 0.02%.
Get Attorney Hall on Your Side
Given the severe consequences of drunk driving charges and the lasting damage that a criminal conviction can inflict to your reputation, if you have been charged with DUI or DWI, it is vital you get in touch with a powerful lawyer as soon as possible to guard your wellbeing. As a former prosecutor, I understand the common strategies the state will use to secure your conviction and can use my experience to counter the opposition’s moves in advance, allowing me to maximize your chances of success. With responsive and honest communication at all times throughout the duration of your case, my firm has what it takes to help you get through this difficult time with your honor and future intact.
Discuss your charges in detail with a Salisbury DWI/DUI lawyer during a confidential consultation.
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