Many Maryland residents over the age of 21 like to indulge in alcoholic beverages at their favorite restaurants, at get-togethers, and even at home to unwind after a busy or stressful workweek. This is all well and good, but the trouble starts when these impaired adults get behind the wheel of a vehicle after they’ve had more than the legal limit of alcohol to drink.
What’s even more dangerous? When underage young adults who are not of legal age to be consuming alcohol drink and drive. Let’s take a look at how the state views underage drinking and driving to get a better idea of what to do if you are ever caught committing this crime.
Suspicion of DUI in Maryland
Law enforcement officers initially rely on visual observations to determine if a driver seems to be under the influence of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. The main violations committed that lead to drivers being pulled over and charged with underage DUI are:
- Failure to stop at a stop light or sign.
- Failure to stay between traffic lines.
- Driving with an exterior vehicle light out or off at night.
- Driving at a speed higher than the posted limit.
MVA Hearing: Driving Suspensions & Restrictions in Eldersburg, MD
When you are first charged with an underage DUI, you’ll be given an alcohol restriction on your Maryland driver’s license. This means that since you are not of legal drinking age, you are absolutely prohibited from having any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream while operating a vehicle. In addition, you will likely face a 6-month suspension of your driving privileges. Repeat offenders commonly have their driver’s license suspended for one year upon judgment.
Judgment in Court: Harsher Penalties
The zero tolerance law for underage DUI in Maryland means stricter punishment for those convicted of the crime. The potential penalties you may face when drinking underage and driving under the influence of alcohol are:
- Fines of up to $500 for first-time offenders
- Fines of up to $2,000 for second-time offenders (if within 5 years of first offense)
- Supervised or unsupervised probation
- Ignition Interlock Device
- Jail time
Action Plan: How Your Eldersburg, MD Underage DUI Lawyer Can Help
There are a few important steps you can take to allow the judge to see that you’ve learned from your mistake and that the likelihood of you committing another or related crime is low. First, you should make it a point to avoid drinking while you are still underage. At the very least, it’s best to stop until your court date, as your appearance and behavior in court will be scrutinized by the judge. Next, if you believe the likelihood of you committing the same crime again is high, find a program within your community that supports those suffering from alcohol abuse and addiction.
The Law Office of Ross Albers is your best resource for an underage DUI lawyer in Eldersburg, Maryland. We are highly experienced with DUI convictions and advocate for our clients not only in understanding the legal process they are going through, but also in ensuring fair treatment upon their judgment. If you’ve recently been charged with an underage DUI, contact us to use our legal resources and assistance today.