Howard County Driving While Impaired Charges

In Maryland, driving while impaired is a very similar charge to a DUI charge. However, driving while impaired charges in Maryland and a lesser charge than DUIs. In either case, there can be long-term consequences if you are charged and subsequently convicted. Make sure to obtain the help of an experienced Howard County DWI lawyer to help your defense. Call today to learn more.

How a DWI Differs from DUI

The substantial difference is in the penalty. DUI is Driving Under the Influence. DWI is Driving While Impaired. It is sometimes referred to as driving while buzzed, or driving with just a little bit of alcohol in your system, which is under the legal limit of .08 but usually greater than .05. The State can still move forward and try to convict you for a .06, .07 for driving while impaired, which means that you were driving when you probably should not have been. The maximum penalty is 60 days in jail and $500 fine, which is substantially less than a year in jail and a $1000 fine.

Defenses Howard County Driving While Impaired Charges

Strategically the defense is built no different from a DUI charge in Howard County. The reason for the officer to stop your vehicle is no different. There must be reasonable and articulable suspicion which an officer observes of you in the initial interaction. The questions they ask will be around that subject. Did you have anything to drink? Did you have anything to do with drugs? Then from there they can articulate a suspicion. Was any type of testing done? Was it done by breath or by blood? What were the results? How it can be applied to the current case law to try to suppress those results?

Important Factors to Consider

The number one factor we are looking for is why the Howard County police officer stopped your car. What was the purpose of the stop? Were you speeding, or was it a tag light out, or was your registration suspended? What caused the officer to pull you over? Then, what if anything did the officer say to you when you were in your vehicle? What were the results of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests, if any? The officer’s report and all the tangible evidence that come from that are important to address.

Hiring a DWI Attorney with Howard County Experience

With respect to Howard County, the way the District Court runs you want someone with experience in operating and practicing in Howard County because the judges are specifically assigned to their own courtrooms. In courtrooms one through five in the District Court, each judge is assigned to their room. Having a Howard County driving while impaired attorney who has practiced there and understands practicing there is important. Someone who knows that there may be something in particular one of those judges really looks for when presented evidence by the State’s Attorney or the Defense is helpful when planning your defense strategy. If you have good experience practicing before these judges, including proving that certain elements do not exist, you can go in there with a very strategic plan for that case, courtroom and judge.