Nobody usually expects that his or her life will be changed by a drunk driving charge. The reality is that people have to face these types of charges each day in Maryland. When you are facing a drunk driving charge, you might have some questions about what various things mean. Getting answers to these questions can help you to make sure that you understand your charges and the possible consequences.
Do I have to take a Breathalyzer if I am pulled over?
With the implied consent laws in the state, your license will be suspended if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test. Your license will be suspended as soon as you refuse the test. If you are found to be intoxicated, your car will be impounded and you will go to jail to sober up. Throughout this process, you should make sure that you know your rights so they aren’t infringed upon.
What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?
A DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is the lesser of these two charges. It is usually used if your blood-alcohol content is .07, but can be used for lower BAC readings if you fail the field sobriety test. You can face a fine of $500 and 8 points will be added to your license if you are convicted. Your license will be taken from you at the time you are charged with the DWI.
A DUI, or driving under the influence, is the more serious charge. Your BAC must be at or above .08 to qualify for a DUI charge. Your license will be confiscated at the time of your arrest. You can be fined $1,000 for a first offense DUI or more for subsequent offenses. Being convicted of a DUI results in automatic revocation of your license because 12 points are levied against your license.
Any arrest for a DUI or DWI can have consequences that go far beyond losing your driving privileges. For this reason, you should make sure that you present an adequate defense against the charges in an attempt to minimize the consequences.
Source: DMV.org, “DUI & DWI in Maryland” Sep. 11, 2014