Maryland DUI Laws and Penalties

The types of intoxicated driving in Maryland and the consequences of a conviction.

Maryland’s laws prohibiting intoxicated driving include two categories of offenses—DWIs (driving while intoxicated) and DUIs (driving under the influence.

DUIs. A person can get a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater or while substantially impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance.

DWIs. A driver can be convicted of a DWI if driving while his or her normal condition is affected by alcohol to some extent. This is level of intoxication is considered a lower standard than that of a DUI.

An intoxicated driving conviction does not require that the vehicle be actually in motion. “Actual physical control” of a vehicle—which can include sleeping in a running car or having the ignition on in a parked car—is sufficient.

Jail Time and Fines for Maryland DUI Convictions

The penalties for a DUI are dependent on the number of prior convictions the driver has that occurred within the last ten years.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

1 year maximum

2 years maximum

3 years maximum

Fines

$1,000 maximum

$2,000 maximum

$3,000 maximum

A driver with a prior intoxicated driving offense that occurred within in the last five years will be required to serve a minimum five days in jail (ten days if two priors) and complete an alcohol and drug assessment.

Jail Time and Fines for Maryland DWI Convictions

The penalties for a DWI are less severe than those for a DUI but also depend on the number of prior offenses the driver has that occurred within the past ten years.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

2 months maximum

1 year maximum

3 years maximum

Fines

$500 maximum

$500 maximum

$3,000 maximum

Driver’s License Penalties

Generally, an intoxicated driving offense in Maryland will result in driver’s license penalties. There are several types of license suspension. Basically, convictions and arrests where the driver fails a chemical test or refuses a chemical test in violations of the state’s implied consent laws result in suspensions. But when multiple suspensions result from a single incident—which often is the case—the suspensions will normally overlap.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

DUI Conviction

6-month suspension

9-year suspension

12-month suspension

Test Refusal

270-day suspension

2-year suspension

2-year suspension

Test Failure at Least .08% BAC

180-day suspension

180-day suspension

180-day suspension

Test Failure at Least .15% BAC

180-day suspension

270-day suspension

270-day suspension

Fatality Accident & at Least .08% BAC

1-month suspension

1-year suspension

1-year suspension

Fatality accident & at Least .15% BAC

1-year suspension

Permanent revocation

Permanent revocation

A suspended driver who had a BAC that was less than .15% may be eligible for a hardship license but will be subject to travel and ignition interlock device (IID) restrictions.

Ignition interlock program. The ignition interlock program is an option for all offenders—and required for some offenders—suspended for an intoxicated driving incident. Pursuant to the program, a driver who installs and maintains an IID will generally be eligible for license reinstatement after 180 days. However, drivers who refused testing or had a BAC of .15% or more must hold the IID for one year prior to license reinstatement.

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