On October 1, 2019, many new Maryland laws went into effect. From taxing online sales to banning specific attachments for firearms, these laws span a great number of subjects. We’re here to let you know about the laws that are now in effect regarding driving under the influence so that you can be better prepared and can avoid unnecessary charges.
New DUI Laws in Maryland
HB0707: Drunk and Drugged Driving Offenses – Penalties
This law has been modified to establish an increase in the penalties that are allowed when Maryland residents are found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Specifically:
- For drivers convicted of vehicular homicide while impaired, the maximum jail term or imprisonment has increased from 3 to 5 years.
- For drivers convicted of vehicular homicide or of causing a serious injury or fatal crash while impaired who have prior convictions, the maximum imprisonment has doubled from 5 to 10 years.
HB0055: Transportation – Ignition Interlock System
This new Maryland law states that all new ignition interlock devices must be equipped with cameras before installation. The cameras capture still images that can be used as proof of violations during the breath analysis process that occurs before the driver is allowed to turn the vehicle on.
Related Laws (New)
Some additional laws that took effect October 1, 2019 that are related to alcohol and driving privileges include:
SB0237: Vehicle Laws – Canceled, Revoked, and Suspended Driver’s Licenses – Penalties
The new law states that those convicted of possessing any of the above driver’s license statuses:
- Will no longer face incarceration (previously: 2-month sentence)
- Will be assessed fewer points on their license, as the requirement is now 3 points (previously: 12 points)
HB0088: Criminal Law and Civil Offenses – Classifications
This law has been enacted to now classify (1) consuming an alcoholic beverage in public under certain circumstances and (2) possessing an alcoholic beverage in an open container under certain circumstances as civil offenses, rather than criminal offenses. As civil matters, these offenses will likely have lessened penalties.
Charged with a DUI or Related Crime in Maryland?
When you’ve committed or been charged with a crime, it can be difficult to go about your next steps alone. With the knowledge and expertise of the DUI and criminal defense attorneys at Albers & Associates on your side, you’ll be best equipped to understand your options and get the best outcome possible for your case. Contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.