Why You Can’t Afford a DUI in Baltimore County

Drunk driving is a serious issue on U.S. roadways. Despite the threat of jail time and other prohibitive fines, many American drivers continue to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Of all first-time DUI offenders, research indicates that those drivers have gotten behind the wheel up to 80 times before getting caught. 30% of all roadway accidents are directly related to drunk driving. Unfortunately, drunk driving is a huge problem in Baltimore. There are over 7000 drunk driving associated incidences every year in Maryland. But half of those occur in the Baltimore area. So why can’t you afford a DUI in Baltimore County? We’ll discuss the mandatory fines, fees, and jail time that comes with even a first time drunk driving offense in Baltimore.

1. What happens after someone is caught drunk driving in Baltimore?

It depends on if a local officer or a State Trooper arrests you for drunk driving. A local officer will take you to the local police station. From there, they will conduct preliminary and intoxication tests. A State Trooper will take you to the barracks and perform the same type of tests there. Once the tests are completed, you’ll be transferred to a commissioner. The officers will get your contact information and ID, and will formally charge you with a DUI.

In some cases, the officer or State Trooper will release you after they test you. Some will even offer to drive you home. After an arrest, your car will be towed and impounded. Impound fees can cost hundreds of dollars.

2. Is there a difference between a DWI and DUI according to Maryland state law?

A DWI is considered a lesser charge than a DUI. A DUI can mean that you are either drunk or under the influence of drugs while driving or intending to drive a vehicle. To be charged with a DUI, the officer has determined that you can’t make decisions and that you are so impaired that you are a danger to yourself or other drivers. In Maryland, a DUI comes with the maximum penalty under the law.

  • First-time offenders are subject to a 1000 dollar fine and 12 points on their license. Drivers may even have their license suspended or revoked.
  • Drivers who are caught with a minor in the car get the same penalties as above, along with the threat of jail time.

On the other hand, a DWI means that a driver attempted to drive or was driving a vehicle while close to the legal limit, at the legal limit, or slightly above the legal limit of .08 BAC. Unfortunately, a DWI charge comes with the same stigma as a DUI.

The maximum penalty for a DWI is $500, 60 days in jail, and 8 points on your license. The points are mandatory, but jail time and the fine can be lowered or waived by a judge, depending on the circumstances.

3. What should you do if you’re arrested for a DUI in Baltimore?

Maryland gives drivers arrested for a DUI stringent timelines for dealing with the charge. Within ten days of an arrest, you must contact the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in writing. The MVA will not schedule a hearing for you. If you fail to request a hearing, your license is automatically suspended for a max of 120 days.

Some counties require that you see a commissioner in person within 3 to 7 days after the arrest. Once you are given your citation after an arrest, you must read it carefully. If you don’t understand, call the police station that arrested you. The point of meeting the commissioner is to establish reporting obligations. Don’t discuss your case or enter a plea. In fact, it’s a good idea not to discuss your situation with anyone except a lawyer. If your charges require you to appear at a trial, do not pay any costs beforehand.

Contact a Baltimore attorney asap. They will be able to represent your interests in court and present your case in the best possible light to the judge. It’s likely that an experienced Baltimore DUI attorney will be able to get your fines lowered and help you avoid jail.