Drunk driving charges have some unique implications for those under 21

No matter what your age, a drunk driving charge under Maryland law is very serious. Young drivers, however, face unique legal requirements and a distinct set of potential penalties when accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. If you or someone close to you is a driver under the age of 21 who has been accused of a DWI or DUI offense, you may be in need of the services of a drunk driving defense attorney.

Even a BAC as low as .02 can mean loss of a young driver’s license under Maryland law

In Maryland, a driver caught with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Someone driving with a BAC between .04 and .08 can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). For drivers under the age of 21, even a single drink can result in serious consequences; drivers under 21 with a BAC of at least .02 can have their driver’s license suspended or revoked and be hit with a fine of up to $500.

There are two types of direct consequences from a drunk driving charge, criminal and administrative. Someone who is 18 or older will be charged in adult court for the criminal portion of the case, facing jail time, fines, probation and restrictions on driving privileges. A driver under the age of 18 will more likely be charged in juvenile court. In either case, a driver under 21 has special alcohol restrictions on his or her license that mean being caught even with a low BAC can result in a six month administrative license suspension for a first offense DUI, and a complete revocation of driving privileges for a second offense.

In addition to court imposed sanctions and administrative driver’s license penalties, there are a number of collateral consequences of a drunk driving conviction that are especially tough on younger drivers. It is already difficult and expensive to obtain auto insurance for young drivers, and a drunk driving conviction can make it even harder or cause premiums to become prohibitively expensive. While undergoing background checks for institutions of higher learning or when applying for jobs, a drunk driving conviction may come up. A drunk driving conviction can even mean disqualification for entry into certain foreign countries.

Facing charges? Get in touch with a Maryland drunk driving defense attorney

Getting accused of drunk driving at a young age can have serious repercussions. But, by staging a strong legal defense, you may be able to avoid some of the worst consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction. Get in touch with a Maryland drunk driving defense lawyer if you need legal help with a DUI or DWI charge.

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