Learn More About DWIs

Maryland DUI & DWI Laws

Jun 30, 2016

In Maryland you can be convicted of either a DUI (driving under the influence) or a DWI (driving while impaired) based on various factors. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher you will be found guilty for a DUI. If your blood alcohol levels range from .04% to .08% you could be charged with a DWI. While a DWI is less severe and could be charged separately, you could also be charged for both.

Legal limit in Maryland:

  • Standard, non-commercial drivers: .04% BAC
  • Commercial drivers: .04% through .08% BAC – DWI
  • Commercial drivers: .08% BAC – DUI
  • Drivers under 21: .02% BAC

Penalties, Fines, & Suspension

Maryland DUI & DWI Penalties, Fines, & Suspension
Penalty 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
Sentence DWI: Up to 2 months
DUI: Up to 1 year
DWI: Up to 1 year
DUI: Up to 2 years
Up to 3 years
Fine DWI: $500
DUI: Up to $1,000
DWI: $500
DUI: $2,000
Up to $3,000
Driver’s License Suspension At least 6 months 1 year At least 18 months

Chemical Test Refusal

Under Maryland’s implied consent law, drivers are required to take a blood, alcohol or urine test if a law enforcement officer has reason to believe you are drunk driving. In Maryland, you do not have to be under arrest to be required to take this test. Refusal of the chemical test will result in a license suspension that will increase with each offense.

1st offense: License suspension of 120 days
2nd offense: License suspension for 1 year
3rd offense: License suspension for 1 year

Ignition Interlock

After a first DUI/DWI conviction, a driver may enter the ignition interlock program to replace a license suspension punishment. An ignition interlock device will be required after a second offense. An ignition interlock device of IID connects to your vehicle’s ignition preventing you from driving with a BAC above the legal limit. All costs that are associated with an IID with be at the driver’s responsibility.

Criminal Record

A DUI or a DWI will stay on your record for 5 years in Maryland. The court is likely to use these charges against you if convicted again during this time period.

Under 21

Drinking underage is illegal in the state of Maryland, and if someone under the age of 21 if caught driving with a BAC of .02% or above they will be charged with a DUI. If you are a minor convicted of drinking and driving you will be punished with a jail sentence for up to 6 months, a fine of $500-$1,000, and a license suspension for 6 months. If a minor receives a second conviction within 5 years, the penalties will increase. The minor may also be subject to additional charges such as a minor in possession or distributing alcohol to minors.

DWI with a Child Passenger

Drinking and driving with a child or minor passenger is considered child endangerment in Maryland. After the first offense you will be subject to a sentence up to 6 months and/or a fine up to $1,000. These penalties will increase with each offense.  

More on MD DUI Laws:

Maryland Department of Transportation: Impaired Driving Laws:

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Updated: July 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm