Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense, and a criminal conviction can have serious consequences for your life. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI offense in the Maryland or D.C. area, contact the seasoned legal team at The Law Office of Michael S. Rothman. We fight hard to uphold the constitutional rights of our clients, and our attorney’s DWI certification gives him the in-depth training he needs to challenge DWI/DUI arrests. When you need a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, call 301-637-2551 for a free consultation.
In Maryland, there are two possible charges for drunk driving: DUI, which stands for driving under the influence; and DWI, which stands for driving while impaired. The difference lies in the degree to which a driver is intoxicated.
If a driver is determined to have a blood alcohol content level of .07 percent, he or she may be charged with a DWI offense. Having a blood alcohol content level of .08 percent or higher can result in a DUI offense. However, the standards are different for drivers of commercial vehicles; they can be charged with a DWI for a blood alcohol content level of .04 to .07 percent, and with a DUI for a level of .07 percent or higher. A person in Maryland can be charged with a DUI and a DWI simultaneously, but can only be convicted of a single offense.
In Washington D.C., you can be charged with a DUI for having a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, and .04 or higher if you are a driver of a commercial vehicle.
There is a third drunk driving offense in Washington D.C. known as OWI, which stands for operating while impaired. You can be charged with this offense if you are found to have driven a vehicle “while impaired” by alcohol in any way, even if your blood alcohol content is lower than the legal limit.
Both Maryland and Washington D.C. have zero tolerance policies for drivers under 21. If you are under 21, you can be charged with a drunk driving offense for having any amount of alcohol in your system.
If you are convicted of either a DUI or a DWI in Maryland, you may face penalties such as a fine of $500-$1,000, suspension of your driving privileges for up to one year, and anywhere from 60 days to one year in jail. Penalties for a DUI or a DWI will increase depending on how many prior convictions are on your record.