Maryland legislature considers increased penalties for DUI offenders

Maryland may continue to increase the severity of penalties for drunk driving crimes.

A group of law makers in Maryland are considering increasing the penalties associated with DUI convictions in the state. According to the Baltimore Sun, the bill is designed to provide restitution for those who are injured in an accident allegedly caused by a drunk driver by fining the accused offender. This bill follows many changes to strengthen DUI penalties in Maryland, including increased ignition interlock requirements in certain situations.

DUI penalties in Maryland: The basics.

Current Maryland law is tough on driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated (DUI and DWI) offenses. Those who are convicted of a DUI face the following penalties:

  • Monetary fine. A first DUI conviction can come with a ticket for up to $1,000. A second offense can cost $2,000 and a third $3,000.
  • Imprisonment. The first DUI conviction can lead to one year imprisonment; the second can result in up to two years and the third up to three years in jail.
  • Revocation of driver’s license. The first offense results in a six month revocation, the second 12 months and the third 18 months.

Critics of the current system argue that the penalties for drunk driving in Maryland should be more severe.

DUI penalties in Maryland: The debate.

A recent editorial in the Baltimore Sun highlights the push for increasing the severity of DUI penalties, stating that current proposals are not harsh enough. Instead, the author called for measures like permanent ignition interlock devices for those who are convicted of drunk driving offenses and increased penalties for those who refuse BAC tests. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has publicly supported the measure.

The conversation is important as it draws attention to the evolving nature of the law. As a result, those who are charged with these crimes are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced drunk driving lawyer.

DUI charges in Maryland: An attorney can help.

Those who are charged with a DUI, DWI or other crime should take the charges seriously. Defenses are available that can lead to a reduction or dismissal of charges. An attorney will review the details of your case including:

  • Protocol. It is important that proper protocol was followed during the traffic stop that led to the charges. If the required rules and regulations were not followed, the evidence gathered at the stop may be inadmissible.
  • Testing. It is also important to review the devices used to check the blood alcohol content, or BAC. These devices must be properly calibrated and maintained.
  • Rights. An attorney will review the entire incident to ensure your legal rights were protected.

These are just a few of the many defenses and legal strategies available to those who are charged with a crime. Contact an experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney to help better ensure a more favorable outcome.

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