Driving under the influence/ driving while imparied
What is a DUI/DWI
how serious is a DUI/DWI
not all DUI/DWI are the same
what to expect when getting a DUI/DWI
Md Code Ann TR §11-127.1 defines “Intoxicated per se” as having an alcohol concentration at the time of testing of .08 or more as measured by grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. You will be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI) per se (See Md Code Ann. TR §21-902 (a)(2)) if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was tested at a level of .08% or higher. In all likelihood, you will also be charged with driving under the influence (See Md Code Ann. TR §21-902(a)) if at the time of your arrest, you were driving, or attempt to drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The police will also charge you with “driving while impaired” (Md Code Ann. TR §21-902(b)). The distinction to be made between 21-902(a) and 21-902(b) are the words influence vs impaired. Being under the influence has been defined as a person’s consumption of alcohol, to the extent that there was a failure of normal coordination not amounting to intoxication. To be impaired is to where your mental or physical abilities are impaired by a mind altering substance.
the critical element of a DUI/DWI
only present in Md Code Ann. TR §21-902( c); and Cook v. State, 62 Md. App. 634 (1985)). The NTSB refers to DUI and DWI as being “drugged” driving. So, any drug, prescription, over the counter, or booze does just fine to get you a DUI or DWI conviction.
Md Code Ann. TR §21-902(c)(2) provides that even if you are entitled to take the drug which impairs your, condition it is not a defense unless you were NOT aware that the drug or the combination of the drug and alcohol would make you incapable of driving the vehicle safely. But that is a very high standard, because: most prescription labels have warnings about operating machinery; and, you would have to testify that you were NOT aware that the drug or the combination of the drug and alcohol would make you incapable of driving your vehicle safely. Once you take the stand to testify, you become fair game for the prosecutor. That is very, very risky.
the punishment for a DUI/DWI
In many cases, people who end up on the lower end of the BAC spectrum but fail miserably on a field sobriety test end up with this charge. Police Officer judgment is a major factor, and never ever expect a break. Generally, you will be handed (as noted above) three citations. The end result is that you are going to have points tallied against your driving record, be ordered to pay fines, and could also be sentenced to jail. A repeat offenders, that is you are charged with DUI or DWI within five years of a prior conviction, upon conviction carries with it a mandatory jail term.
Money fines are also onerous. The monetary fine for a first offense time DUI is $1,000, and $2,000 for a second offense. But these costs are nothing compared to what it will cost you for: increased auto insurance rates (generally a 40% surcharge), the costs to install and monthly monitoring of an ignition interlock system in your car, alcohol rehabilitation classes ($3,000 +/- the money involved with going court and/or hiring an attorney. All total, a DUI charge can set you back up $17,000.00 or more after it’s all said and done.
In Maryland, a first time DWI conviction can result to jail time and/or a fine. Jail time can be a year or up to two years if there was a minor in the vehicle. A monetary fine can be imposed of up to $1,000 or $2,000 if the offender was transporting a minor.
In Maryland, your first DUI conviction can also lead to jail time and/or a fine. Jail time can be imposed up to two months or six months if a minor was in the vehicle. A fine may be imposed up to $500 or $1,000 if a minor was in the vehicle.
For both a DWI and a DUI a drivers license suspension of at least 6 months can, and most likely, will be imposed. For some, the DUI or DWI conviction and loss of driver’s license could result in a loss of employment, reputation, child access, or your freedom. A conviction will also lead to an increase in insurance premiums, and possible termination of auto insurance coverage.
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How we handle your case
Did you know that the arresting Police Officer must be able to articulate more than an inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or hunch that you were intoxicated? We do. Did you know that your being ordered to submit to taking the field sobriety tests are subject to those rights afforded to you under the U.S. Constitution? Do you know what is required of the arresting officer before he can order you from your vehicle to perform the field sobriety tests? Most officers will testify in Court: “I smelled alcohol on the suspect’s breath”, and he had bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. Really… it’s just like someone pulled the string on a Chatty Cathy.
But we know that the smell of alcohol is not enough to arrest you, and that the mere odor of alcohol is insufficient for the arresting officer to suspect that you were driving impaired. We know what your rights are before the arresting officer can order you to submit to the field sobriety tests. And we know that the mere suspicion or good faith perception is not enough to constitute cause to initiate an investigatory detention, like ordering you from your car because it was the middle of the night, and you had watery eyes.
We at Shechtel and Associates, P.A. know that losing your driver’s license can be very taxing, and sometimes make it impossible for you to get to and from work. We know how assist you in keeping your driving privileges, even if they are restricted. We can help you stay out of jail. We can help you in your recovery before you come before the Court so that you are more likely to receive probation and not incarceration.
There are defenses and legal procedures that we know how to use in your defense. Here at the Law Offices of Shechtel and Associates, P.A., we can and will assist you to properly prepare for a trial, and we will be standing right there next to you if your case goes to trial. We also can assist you at the Maryland MVA hearing so that you are able to retain your driving privileges.
There are many Court and MVA deadlines that must be strictly followed or your rights will be lost forever. In some instances, a failure to appear (FTA) at a court hearing could subject you to a bench warrant or arrest. The first few days following an arrest for DUI or DWI are critical. You only have just ten days from the date of your arrest to take advantage of all of your rights. DO NOT DELAY. Call us at now at 301-309-1440.
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Feel free to get in touch with any enquiries and one of our friendly members of staff will get back to you as soon as possible, we are here to help !