Maryland’s Most Zealous Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney

Charged with a DUI or DWI in Maryland

If you were charged with a DUI or DWI in Maryland, you will see the Maryland Transportation Article 21-902 on your citations or charging documents. Knowing what section of the statute that you were charged with is important.

If you were charged with 21-902(a)(1)(i), the State must show that you were driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol. If you were charged under section 21-902(a)(1)(ii) then you were charged with the “pro se” section of the statute which means that the State must show that you were driving or attempting to driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08.

What penalties do I face? What if this is my second or third DUI? Am I considered a subsequent offender?

First DUI conviction- If you are convicted of driving/attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, or driving/attempting to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher and it is your first conviction, you face the possible penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.

Second DUI conviction- If it is your second conviction of driving/attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol or driving/attempting to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher and it is your second conviction, you face the possible penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $2,000, or both.

What if my prior conviction was a conviction under a different section of 21-902?

If your prior conviction was not under the same section of 21-902 as your current conviction and was under a different section such as driving/attempting to drive while impaired by alcohol, or driving/attempting to drive while impaired by drug(s)/drug(s) and alcohol, or driving/attempting to drive while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance that you are not entitled to use then it may still be considered a prior conviction for the purposes of enhanced penalties. Subsequent offender penalties for a violation of section 21-902 (a) will still be possible if you have a prior conviction under one of the sections mentioned above if that prior conviction was within 5 years before the current conviction.

What happens if a minor was in the vehicle when I got arrested for a DUI?

Under section 21-902(a)(2)(i) of the Maryland Transportation Article there is more punitive consequences if you have a minor in the vehicle while driving/attempting to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The difference is that for a first offense DUI with a minor in the vehicle you face imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $2,000 or both; and for a second offense of a DUI with a minor in the vehicle the penalty is 3 years or a fine not exceeding $3,000 or both.
For the purpose of determining subsequent offender penalties for a DUI while transporting a minor under 21-902(a)(2)(i), a prior conviction under 21-902(b)(2), (c)(2), or (d)(2) will also be considered a prior conviction.

Are DUI penalties different than DWI penalties?

Under section 21-902 (b)(1)(i) you may not drive/attempt to drive a vehicle while impaired by alcohol (DWI). For a first DWI conviction you could be imprisoned for up to 2 months or ordered to pay a $500 fine, or both. For a second offense, imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

Are there also subsequent offender penalties for DWI prior convictions?

Yes! Likewise, a prior conviction for DUI under subsection 21-902(a), (c), or (d) will be considered a prior conviction for the purpose of determining subsequent offender penalties for a 21-902 (b) DWI conviction

Driving While Impaired (DWI) when there is a minor in the vehicle-

Just like a DUI, there are enhanced penalties for DWI while transporting a minor. If you are convicted of DWI with a minor in the vehicle, the first offense carries the penalty of possible imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of $1,000, or both. For a second offense, imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $2,000 or both. For the purpose of determining subsequent offender penalties for a violation of this paragraph, a prior conviction under this paragraph or subsection (a)(2), (c)(2), or (d)(2) of this section shall be considered a prior conviction.