Maryland DUI FAQ
Being arrested for drinking and driving can negatively impact you and your family for the rest of your lives. Maryland DUI Defense Attorney Ross W. Albers has years of experience representing DUI and DWI clients against the State of Maryland. We understand that the time following your charge can be stressful and confusing, and you’ll have many questions and uncertainties that could keep you up at night. We’ve compiled our clients’ most frequently asked questions here. As a reminder, each case is unique and we suggest scheduling a free consultation to review the specifics of your case where you can ask questions one-on-one.
Will I lose my license?
The answer to this depends on many factors. Once you are pulled over for drinking and driving, you may have your license taken away by the arresting officer. You will be provided with instructions and will also receive a court date to defend your charges. You may lose your license for an extended period of time depending on your driving record, the number of previous DUI/DWI charges you have, your age, whether you were also involved in an accident, and of course the outcome of your case. You don’t have to lose your license but it is a potential penalty for Maryland DUI/DWI.
Will I lose my job?
The answer to this is, in most cases, no, but there are factors that come into play if your employer finds out about your DUI/DWI arrest. We usually advise that you do not disclose the information on your arrest to your employer until after your case has gone to trial unless you are obligated to disclose your arrest to your employer, which may be a possibility if you are an employee of the government with a security clearance. While it is unlikely that you will lose your job, it is a possibility and one you should take very seriously and that we can address at your consultation.
Will I go to jail?
The answer to this will vary case to case. Some things that may increase the likelihood of jail time are multiple offenses, your age, and your BAC (blood alcohol content). The most important thing to do if you think you may face jail time is to schedule your free consultation soon after your arrest so that Ross W. Albers can review and research your case. Because he is a former Maryland prosecutor, he can determine weak points in your case that may help you lessen the severity of your case and result in the most positive outcome.
Will my car be fitted with an ignition interlock device?
If it is your first offense and you are over 21, in most cases you will not be fitted with an ignition interlock device. If it is your second or third offense, or you are under 21, you will more than likely be required to install an IID on your vehicle.
Who pays for the ignition interlock device and how much will it cost?
In almost all cases the convicted driver must pay for the installation cost and the monthly fees associated with maintaining an IID. The price will vary but you can expect to pay over $100 for installation and anywhere from $50-$100 a month to lease monthly.
Do I have to plead guilty?
No, you do not have to plead guilty in the state of Maryland. There are many DUI defenses: you can take your case to trial or attempt to suppress a lot of the state’s evidence. For example, you can challenge the stop, the field sobriety test, and also the breathalyzer test. If you are interested in taking your case to trial and not pleading guilty, contact the office to discuss the details of your case with us.
What can I do to help my case before the trial?
I recommend that every client, regardless of guilt or innocence, complete an alcohol assessment and treatment before going to court. While the Law Office of Ross W. Albers is always ready for trial and prepared to defend your case, you must walk into court with the protection of having done an assessment and treatment. If you don’t complete an assessment and treatment and are found guilty either after a trial or a plea agreement, then the judge is going to order that you complete an alcohol program as part of your supervised probation. Often times, the court will grant a client unsupervised probation if they have already completed treatment.
How many points will I get for a DUI in Maryland?
It depends on your case but generally speaking Maryland’s law is 12 points for a DUI and 8 points for a DWI unless you get a probation before judgment.
What is probation before judgment or PBJ?
Maryland’s probation before judgment, or PBJ as it is commonly referred to, is a possible outcome in a criminal, DUI/DWI and traffic case in Maryland. A PBJ can be obtained during plea negotiations with the assistant state’s attorney and court or by sentence of the court after a guilty plea or finding of guilty after a trial. In order to receive a PBJ, the defendant must first be found guilty. Then, the court will strike the guilty finding and grant the defendant the benefit of a PBJ. Not everyone is eligible for a PBJ and it can include a period of supervised probation, unsupervised probation, fine, and/or time served.
Will I have to pay fines for getting a DUI?
The different levels of Maryland DUI Penalties are as follows:
The maximum penalty for driving while impaired (DWI) in Maryland is 60 days incarceration and/or a $500.00 fine.
The maximum penalty for driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland is 1 year incarceration and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
DUI Per Se
The maximum penalty for driving under the influence per se (DUI per se) in Maryland is 1 year incarceration and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
Can I get a DUI if I was under 0.08 BAC?
In Maryland the blood alcohol content, or BAC, to receive a DUI is 0.08 or over. If a driver’s BAC is 0.04-0.08, the driver is most often charged with a DWI, which usually carries a less severe penalty. It is most common for a driver with a BAC under 0.08 to receive a DWI when an accident or bodily injury is also involved.
How many drinks are required to reach the Maryland BAC limit of 0.08?
It is impossible to determine a set number of drinks required to reach the Maryland BAC limit for DUI. A person’s body mass, sex, tolerance, time frame in which drinks were consumed and even if they have eaten, all play a factor in the BAC formula. The best answer is, if you are drinking alcohol, do not drive.
How much will my DUI trial cost?
As always your case evaluation will be free. Because each case has its own set of determining factors and because we handle each case individually, the cost per DUI case will vary from client to client. We do believe that everyone has the right to affordable and effective representation, so call us or schedule a case evaluation so that we can better understand your situation and provide you with a quote.
What if I don’t request an MVA hearing?
If you do not request an MVA hearing within 10 days, your Maryland driving privileges will be suspended as follows:
Blood Alcohol Content: 0.08 – 0.14
1st DUI – 45-day suspension
2nd DUI or more – 90-day suspension
Blood Alcohol Content: 0.15 or more
1st DUI – 90-day suspension
2nd DUI or more – 180-day suspension
Blood Alcohol Content: Refused test
1st DUI – 120-day suspension
2nd DUI or more: 1-year suspension
What is the difference in penalties between DUI and DWI?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is the more serious crime. It requires that the alcohol you consumed has substantially impaired your normal coordination.
Driving while impaired by alcohol is the less serious crime. It requires that the alcohol you consumed has impaired normal coordination to some extent.
What is driving under the influence of alcohol per se?
Driving under the influence of alcohol per se is the more serious crime. It requires that you took a test that showed an alcohol level at the time of .08 or more. This arrest will carry some of the heftiest penalties and fines.
If you have been charged with the crimes of driving under the influence of alcohol per se, then the State of Maryland must prove that you drove, operated or were in actual physical control of a vehicle and also that, at the time of testing, you were under the influence of alcohol per se (above the legal limit in Maryland).
I have already been arrested and am looking for a DUI lawyer. What questions should I be asking?
There are three questions that you should ask every Maryland DUI lawyer before selecting legal representation:
Are Maryland DUI cases a major area of your practice?
Maryland DUI law is a complex and constantly evolving legal arena. Continual research, training, and experience in court is required to stay current on the best available DUI defenses and trial tactics.
An experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer will understand how to position your case for the best possible outcome. Because the bulk of cases Ross W. Albers represents are DUI cases, he is always up-to-date on the evolving and changing DUI laws and complexities in Maryland.
What are the possible factual and legal defenses of my Maryland DUI case?
Maryland DUI cases can be won in court due to factual and legal issues with the stop, field sobriety tests, arrest and breathalyzer results. Inexperienced DUI litigators may overlook such defenses and not be ready to take your case to trial.
Are you willing to take a Maryland DUI case to trial?
When fighting a DUI case, it is essential that your Maryland DUI Lawyer have the courtroom skills and experience necessary to successfully defend your case. Just because you’ll get a probation judgment doesn’t mean you should plead guilty.