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Experienced Greenbelt, MD Attorneys Manage DUI Charges

Accomplished attorneys provide personal attention and vigorous defense

Whether you are stopped on I-495 or a block from home, an arrest for DUI/DWI is much more serious than a traffic offense. It is a criminal charge that can result in jail time, fines, loss of your license, and much higher insurance premiums. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who has had success in managing past DUI cases. At Brennan McKenna Mitchell & Shay, Chartered, our defense team has more than 100 years of combined legal experience serving Greenbelt, Prince George’s County, and all of Maryland. We’re prepared to give you the personal attention and professional representation you need to obtain the best possible result.

What is the difference between DUI and DWI in Maryland?

DUI and DWI are two ways to charge drunk driving in Maryland. A standard DUI, driving under the influence, requires a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of 0.08 percent or greater, but commercial drivers can be cited for 0.04 percent BAC and drivers under age 21 can be arrested under the zero tolerance policy with a BAC of 0.02 percent. Drivers with a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater face enhanced charges as do drunk drivers who transport children or cause accidents.

Since some drivers can be impaired with a BAC lower than the 0.08 percent necessary to trigger a DUI, the law allows a charge of DWI, driving while impaired, if the driver has a lower BAC, typically from 0.04 to 0.079 percent, and the officer also observes questionable driving behavior. Authorities often charge DWI after an accident resulting in property damage or bodily injury.

Many states also have a statutory offense called reckless driving involving alcohol, or “wet reckless.” Defense attorneys often try to bargain a DUI or DWI charge down to this lesser offense. Although Maryland has no such criminal law provision, lawyers can sometimes arrange a plea bargain to a charge of reckless driving.

Penalties for DUI/DWI in Maryland

DUI is the more serious charge, carrying the following penalties:

  • 1st offense — Up to one year jail time, up to $1,000 in fines/penalties, a six-month minimum license suspension
  • 2nd offense — Up to two years jail time, up to $2,000 in fines/penalties, a one-year minimum license suspension, and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your car
  • 3rd offense — Up to three years jail time, up to $3,000 in fines/penalties, an 18-month minimum license suspension, and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your car

Although a lesser offense, DWI still carries serious consequences:

  • 1st offense — Up to two months jail time, up to $500 in fines/penalties, a six-month minimum license suspension
  • 2nd offense — Up to one year jail time, up to $500 in fines/penalties, a one-year minimum license suspension, and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your car
  • 3rd offense — Up to three years jail time, up to $3,000 in fines/penalties, an 18-month minimum license suspension, and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your car

In determining whether a DUI/DWI qualifies as a repeat offense, Maryland courts look back five years to prior convictions.

You might also suffer the administrative loss of your driver’s license if you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test after you are arrested. Maryland’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to a chemical test after a lawful arrest.

Aggressive representation for auto accident victims injured by drunk drivers

Brennan McKenna Mitchell & Shay, Chartered attorneys also represent plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, including auto accidents. Our frequent litigation of DUI/DWI cases provides an inside perspective that enables us to deliver effective representation for victims of drunk driving accidents.

Contact a reputable criminal defense law firm in Greenbelt, MD

The lawyers of Brennan McKenna Mitchell & Shay, Chartered represent DUI/DWI defendants in the municipal and county courts throughout Maryland and Virginia. Our offices are conveniently located in the heart of Greenbelt, near the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and close to the U.S. District Court. Call Brennan McKenna Mitchell & Shay, Chartered at 240-241-7027 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation.