December 2009 Archives

December Holidays Welcome DUI Crackdown

December 5, 2009

Thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide are gearing up for a crackdown on DUI and DWI offenses during the December holidays. As the national law enforcement and public awareness effort gets set to run through New Year's Day, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") reports that the campaign involves thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide, and is supported by more than $7 million in national television and radio advertising.

The holiday season can be one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. Since 1998, impaired drivers have claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people in the state of Maryland.

In an effort to raise awareness to prevent impaired driving, the state has seen an increase in partnerships over the past years.

Please enjoy the holiday season, and remain aware of your alcohol consumption. As needed, ask your local bartender about the Tipsy Taxi or other sober ride programs. Military personnel should contact the duty officer or barrack staff if a sober ride is needed.

Serious Penalties for Drunken Driving in Maryland

December 5, 2009

Drinking and Driving in Maryland

Under Maryland law, individuals are prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration ("BAC") of .08 percent or higher. The .08 limit is a standard measurement used across the United States for the "impaired" adult driver. Maryland has a zero tolerance for alcohol for drivers under the age of 21. Anyone under the age of 21 found to have a .02 percent BAC or higher could have their license suspended or revoked. Commercial drivers also face a lower BAC limit of .04 percent.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Maryland?

It is impossible to know the exact number of drinks it takes to reach the .08 BAC limit. Each person has unique physical characteristics, e.g., weight, sex, number of drinks consumed over a given time, that factor into the BAC equation. There are certain calculations that can offer an idea of an individual's BAC level, but I would not use such calculations as a final and certain answer.

The answer that never fails is not to drink and drive. Choosing to operate a vehicle while impaired in the state of Maryland places your freedom, finances and your future at substantial risk.

A first time conviction of a DUI in the state of Maryland carries a potential of up to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. If you were transporting a minor when you were arrested, you could be sentenced to up to 2 years in jail a pay up to a $2,000 fine. Your drivers license will also be suspended for a minimum of 45 days. Your first DWI conviction will cost you up to 2 months in jail and a $500 fine and your drivers license could be suspended 60 days.

A second time conviction of a DUI could result in a sentence of up to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If you were transporting a minor when you were arrested, you could be sentenced to up to 3 years in jail a pay up to a $3,000 fine. Your drivers license will also be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. For your second DWI, you will be fined up to $500 and/or 1 year in jail plus a minimum of 60 day suspension of your drivers license.

Hopefully a third DUI conviction is not in your future. However, a third time conviction in Maryland will have you facing up to 3 years imprisonment. Your fine will be up to $3,000 and if you were transporting a minor at the time of your arrest, you could face up to 4 years in prison and up to a $4,000 fine. Your drivers license will be suspended for a minimum of 18 months. For your third DWI, you will be fined up to $500 and/or 1 year in jail plus a minimum of 60 day suspension of your drivers license.