What You Need to Know About DUI and DWI Charges in Annapolis
Being arrested for a DUI or DWI is stressful, confusing, and all around overwhelming. Maryland takes all intoxicated driving offenses very seriously, so those who have been charged need to take immediate action. Protect yourself by contacting an experienced Annapolis DUI lawyer who can assess your case and tell you exactly what you need to do next.
What Is the Legal Limit for Alcohol in Maryland?
Under Maryland law, the legal limit to be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. However, under state law, a driver can be convicted of driving while impaired (DWI) if his or her BAC is only 0.07.
The variables that go into determining your BAC at any given moment include:
- How much alcohol you consumed
- How much time has passed since you consumed the alcohol
- Your body weight
- The medications you are currently taking
- The amount of food you have in your system
- Genetic factors
Put another way, there is simply no definitive formula that can be used to determine your exact BAC without measuring it. As such, drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel if there is any alcohol in their system.
Which Is Worse: DUI or DWI in Maryland?
In Maryland, DWI and DUI refer to two separate and distinct legal charges. This can be confusing because other states use the terms in different ways. Additionally, in casual conversations, many people use DWI/DUI interchangeably.
The legal limit for a DUI is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more, whereas the legal limit for a DWI is 0.07. This may seem like a minor difference, but it will have a dramatic effect on the charges and penalties you face if convicted. Further, many drivers are convicted without breath test results based on their poor balance and coordination.
Is a DWI/DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor in Maryland?
A DWI or DUI is a misdemeanor offense in Maryland. That being said, Maryland misdemeanor DUI charges can still come with severe consequences.
If there was an “aggravating” factor present in addition to the intoxicated driving, a misdemeanor DUI conviction may come with heightened penalties. Some common examples of aggravating factors include:
- A driver having prior DUI/DWI convictions
- An extreme BAC level, exceeding 0.20
- A child being in the vehicle at the time of the arrest
- Reckless driving
- An accident causing either property damage or bodily injury
What to Expect When You Contact Our Anne Arundel County Law Firm
When you contact our firm, you can expect an immediate response. We understand just how important it is to take quick action. By setting up your initial consultation as soon as possible, we can get started on reviewing your claim so that we can determine what needs to be done to protect your rights.
During your consultation, our attorneys will work to acquire as much information as possible regarding your case. We need to understand all of the relevant factors of your arrest so that we can craft the strongest possible legal defense strategy on your behalf. Some examples of relevant factors include:
- Where you were charged
- Your BAC level
- The results on all sobriety tests you took
- Statements you made to officers
- Things that the officers told you
- Your criminal history and driving record
Contact an Annapolis DUI/DWI Attorney Today
Above all else, we are dedicated to providing top-quality service to our clients. Our Anne Arundel County criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling DUI/DWI cases. In fact, our DWI defense attorneys Gregory P. Jimeno and Frank C. Gray Jr. are former prosecutors and have written a free insider’s guide to Maryland DWI cases, which is available for immediate download.