Westminster DUI Lawyer

Local, state, and national law enforcement authorities have all made great efforts to crack down on drunk and impaired driving nationwide. Even a first-time conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could result in a lengthy license suspension and steep criminal penalties, with even harsher sanctions for repeat offenders.

If you want to fight back against a DUI or DWI charge effectively, having guidance from a seasoned Westminster DUI lawyer could be essential. Whether you have similar past convictions or are going to court for the first time, a dedicated defense attorney could make sure you understand your rights and work tirelessly to present the strongest possible defense on your behalf.

DUI Versus DWI in Westminster

DUI and DWI, or “driving under the influence” and “driving while impaired,” are distinct criminal offenses in Maryland, with the former being a more serious crime than the latter. Maryland Code, Transportation §11-174.1 specifies that a person is “per se” under the influence if tests reveal they have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per 210 liters of breath or per 100 milliliters of blood. Though this statute does not establish a specific definition of impairment, a charge may be a DWI instead of a DUI if a person tests close to or around this legal BAC limit.

These same offenses may also be applied to anyone who is impaired by or under the influence of legal prescription drugs, and courts may impose more severe penalties for anyone driving while inhibited by illegal controlled substances. A local attorney could go into more detail as needed during a private consultation about the practical differences between DUI and DWI charges.

Possible Sanctions from a Drunk Driving Conviction

According to Maryland Code, Transportation §21-902, someone convicted of a DUI or DWI offense may face the following maximum sanctions based on the type of offense and whether they have any prior convictions:

  • First offense for driving while impaired by alcohol or legal drugs – two months imprisonment, $500 fine, and six-month license suspension
  • Second offense for driving while impaired by alcohol or legal drugs – one year imprisonment, $500 fine, and nine-month license suspension
  • First offense for DUI involving alcohol or illegal drugs – one year imprisonment, $1,000 fine, and six-month license suspension
  • Second offense for DUI involving alcohol or illegal drugs – two years imprisonment, $2,000 fine, and nine-month license suspension
  • Third and subsequent offenses for DWI or DWI of any kind – five years imprisonment, $5,000 fine, and 12-month license suspension

Courts may also impose harsher sanctions for each tier of offense if the convicted party had a child under 18 in the vehicle with them when they allegedly committed the crime. Additionally, as a DUI lawyer in Westminster could explain, courts can also require a defendant to install ignition interlock devices in all personal vehicles.

A Westminster DUI Attorney Could Help

Law enforcement agencies in Westminster take drunk driving extremely seriously, and anyone found to have driven while impaired or intoxicated could face substantial legal and procedural penalties. However, it is possible to contest these charges and proactively protect your rights with assistance from skilled legal representation.

Support from a Westminster DUI lawyer could make a difference in having a favorable outcome for your individual case. Learn more about how we can help by calling today.