Garrett County Driving While Impaired Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol (DWI) in Garrett County, Maryland, obtaining good legal counsel is absolutely imperative. Our Garrett County Driving While Impaired lawyers have experience in the intricacies of Maryland DUI laws. Call today to schedule a consultation with a Garrett County DUI lawyer to discuss your case.
Garrett County actually has a surprisingly high rate of DUI and DWI arrests, considering its relatively low population (approximately 81 arrests per 1,000 residents, compared to the state average of 69 arrests per 1,000 residents). This is due at least in part to the presence of Garrett College, a community college located in McHenry. Arrests and convictions for driving while impaired is increased around the college due to a large number of bars and a party atmosphere.
Regardless of where in Garrett County you have been charged, our DWI attorneys can help. Our Garrett County Driving While Impaired lawyers understand the local court system and can work with you to build a defense strategy that suits your individual needs and circumstances.
DWI vs. DUI
It is important to note that driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs (DWI) is different from driving under the influence (DUI). This page focuses mainly on DWI. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher constitutes a DUI, while a BAC of 0.07 – 0.08 constitutes a DWI. If your BAC is below 0.07, the BAC alone cannot constitute an impaired state; however, a court could determine, based on other factors that you are guilty of driving while impaired even if your BAC is lower than 0.07. Obviously, penalties can be significantly harsher when dealing with DUIs, by nature of a higher BAC, but that does not mean that you will not face steep penalties for a DWI. One exception to the above-mentioned penalties relates to a DWI offender under the age of 21. Obviously, they should have no alcohol in their system, but, in addition to underage drinking charges, if their BAC is over 0.02, they face up to a $500 fine and/or a jail sentence up to two months for violating their license restriction.
Penalties for a DWI Conviction
What exactly are the penalties for a DWI conviction in the state of Maryland? First of all, some penalties and levels of penalties are mandatory, while others can be imposed based on circumstances, previous convictions, and other variables.
A first-time offender faces a maximum fine of $500 and up to a two-month jail sentence. If you have one or more prior convictions for any drunk-driving offense, the possible jail sentence increases to a maximum of one year.
Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) also reserves the right to impose penalties for DWI offenses. Often, MVA penalties come in the form of some type of license suspensions or required enrollment by the offender in Maryland’s Interlock Ignition System, which uses a device installed in the violator’s car to measure BAC before the engine ignites. If the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, the car will not start.
Any of these penalties can be increased, depending on specific details and variables beyond just a prior conviction, however. The most notable increase in severity occurs when one or more minors are in the vehicle at the time of a DWI. In that case, the maximum possible jail sentence is two years, and the maximum fine goes up to $2,000.
Consider a Garrett County Driving While Impaired Attorney
Maryland takes any instance of driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs very seriously, so time is of the essence when securing legal counsel for a DWI arrest in Garrett County, but it is equally important that you find the right legal counsel. Our lawyers can help. When you speak with one of our lawyers, you can be confident that you will receive representation from someone who understands Maryland drunk-driving laws and how they could potentially impact your situation. While we can never promise a favorable outcome to any court case, we can confidently assure you that our lawyers offer the extensive knowledge and experience necessary to give you the best chance of a positive decision by a court.