Maryland DUI Laws & Penalties

Maryland DUI law states that any person stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence who has a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater will be arrested for DUI. If a person's BAC level is .07%, but less than .08% they will be arrested for DWI or driving while intoxicated.

You may still be arrested for driving under the influence in Maryland even if your BAC level is less than .07% based on the officer's observation of you before the stop and during the stop.  If the officer determines that your behavior is consistent with impairment due to alcohol consumption or drugs or you fail any part of the field sobriety tests, you will be arrested for driving under the influence.  



Maryland Administrative Hearing Process

Upon being arrested for DUI in Maryland, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and will issue you a notice of suspension of your driving privileges and issue you a temporary driving permit that is good for 45 days from the date of the notice of suspension.  The officer will then forward the confiscated license along with his or her report and the evidence supporting the suspension to the Maryland MVA.

You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest in which to schedule an administrative hearing with the MVA if you wish to retain your driving privileges.  Failure to request a hearing in the allotted time will result in the suspension of your license being upheld.  It typically takes between 4 and 6 weeks for a hearing to be held once it has been scheduled, so time is definitely of the essence if you want to avoid not being able to drive.

Note: The actual suspension period of your driving privileges will begin the day that the MVA receives your license from the arresting officer.

In Maryland an administrative hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge or ALJ. The ALJ is not really a judge, but an attorney who is an employee of the Office of Administrative Hearings or OAH, not the MVA.  The reason he or she is not an employee of the MVA is an attempt to give you an impartial hearing.

The purpose of the hearing will be for the ALJ to review all of the evidence presented against you by the arresting officer and hear testimony from the officer regarding the arrest.  You and your attorney will also be allowed to present any evidence you have in your defense and give testimony on your behalf.  If there were any witnesses that you and your lawyer want to have testify on your behalf, they will be subpoenaed to appear.

After reviewing all of the evidence that has been presented, the ALJ will make the final decision as to whether or not:

  • The arresting officer established probable cause.
  • The arresting officer followed the proper procedures during the stop.
  • Whether or not you refused a chemical test.

If the ALJ determines that the evidence presented by the officer justifies the suspension of your license, then the ruling will be to uphold the officer's suspension (you may be eligible for a restricted permit).  If the ALJ rules in your favor and determines that the evidence presented by the arresting officer does not justify the suspension of your license, it will be reinstated.

Administrative hearings can be tricky to navigate, therefore it is very important that you have a skilled Maryland DUI lawyer on your side who has experience when it comes to handling the Maryland administrative hearing process.

Obtaining a Maryland Restricted License

If the suspension of your license is upheld, you may be eligible for a restricted driving permit through the MVA.  If the Maryland motor vehicle administration grants you a restricted license, part of the requirement of granting you a restricted license may be the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that you will drive by an MVA approved installation center.  If you are required to install an ignition interlock device, the MVA will require the device to remain installed for 6 to 24 months and you will have to pay a monthly fee for the device.

If you are eligible for a restricted license, you will have to successfully complete the Maryland Alcohol Education Program or AEP, you may have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle prior to the MVA issuing you a restricted license, plus you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Maryland SR22 insurance policy and pay any license reinstatement fees that are required.

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Maryland First Offense DUI/DWI

A Maryland first offense DUI or DWI are misdemeanors and are a first offense charge if there have been no previous convictions within the past 5-years.  A first offense DUI/DWI charge carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time: There is no required minimum jail time for a first DUI or DWI offense. A first DWI can be up to 2 months in jail. A first DUI can be up to 1 year in jail. If a minor was in the vehicle DUI can be up to 2 years jail time and a DWI can be up to 6 months.
  • Fines: The maximum fine for a first offense DWI is $500, if a minor was in the vehicle the fine can go up to $1,000 for a first offense. The maximum fine for a first offense DUI is $1,000, if a minor was in the vehicle the fine can go up to $2,000 for a first offense.
  • Alcohol treatment: You will be required to successfully complete a state approved alcohol education program (AEP) prior to being issued a restricted license or having your license reinstated at the end of the suspension period.
  • Community service: None required.
  • Test refusal: Your license will be revoked for 120 days for a first offense refusal.
  • Ignition interlock: If your BAC was .15% or higher you will be required to have an ignition interlock.
  • License suspension: Your license will be suspended for 6 months on a first offense DWI and revoked for 6 months for a DUI offense. You must complete the required alcohol education program before the MVA will reinstate your license. If you are eligible for a restricted license, the MVA may require you to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicles you drive and you will be required to provide the MVA with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Maryland SR22 insurance policy.

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Maryland Second Offense DUI

A Maryland second offense DUI is a misdemeanor and is considered a second offense charge if there has been one previous conviction within the past 5-years.  A second offense DUI charge carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time: A second DWI can be up to 1 year in jail. A second DUI can be up to 2 years in jail. If a minor was in the vehicle the jail sentence will increase.
  • Fines: The maximum fine for a second offense DWI is $500, if a minor was in the vehicle the fine can go up to $2,000 for a first offense. The maximum fine for a first offense DUI is $2,000, if a minor was in the vehicle the fine can go up to $3,000 for a first offense.
  • Alcohol treatment: You will be required to successfully complete a state approved alcohol education program (AEP) prior to being issued a restricted license or having your license reinstated at the end of the suspension period.
  • Community service: 30 days may be offered in lieu of jail sentence.
  • Test refusal: Your license will be revoked for 1 year for a second offense refusal, no driving allowed.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required during restricted license period and for up to 1 year beyond restriction period.
  • License suspension: Your license will be suspended for up to 120 for a DWI offense and up to 1 year for a DUI offense. You may be eligible for a restricted license if you meet the MVA's requirements for one.  If you are eligible for a restricted license, the MVA will require you to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicles you drive and you will be required to provide the MVA with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Maryland SR22 policy.

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Maryland Third Offense DUI

A Maryland third offense DUI is considered a third offense charge if there have been two previous convictions within the past 5-years.  A third offense DUI charge carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time: For a Maryland third offense DWI conviction, the court may impose a jail sentence of up to 1-year.  For a third offense DUI conviction, the court may impose up to 3-years in jail.  At the court's discretion, they may require you to pay a fine only in lieu of some of the jail time.

    If there was a minor in the vehicle at the time, you may be sentenced up to 4-years in jail for a DUI conviction.

  • Fines: A third offense DWI conviction can result in up to a $500 fine.  A third offense DUI conviction can result in up to a $3,000 fine.  If there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense, you could be facing up to a $4,000 fine.  At the court's discretion, they may require you to serve jail time in lieu of paying a fine.
  • Alcohol treatment: You will be required to successfully complete a state approved alcohol education program (AEP) prior to being issued a restricted license or having your license reinstated at the end of the suspension period.
  • Community service: 60 days may be offered in lieu of jail sentence.
  • Test refusal: Your license will be revoked for 1 year for a third offense refusal.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required during restricted license period and for up to 1 year beyond restriction period.
  • License suspension: Your license will be revoked for 18 months for a third offense DUI and it will be suspended for 12 months for a third offense DWI. You may be eligible for a restricted license if you meet the MVA's requirements for one.  If you are eligible for a restricted license, the MVA may require you to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicles you drive and you will be required to provide the MVA with proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Maryland SR22 insurance policy.

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Maryland CDL DUI

Any person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of Maryland while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test will be arrested for DUI.  If this was a first offense violation, your CDL will be suspended for 1-year.

If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be suspended for at least 3-years.  A second offense violation will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again.  A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

Maryland DUI Under 21 Years of Age

Maryland's "zero tolerance"' law for under age drinking states that any person under the age of 21 who is stopped and found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or greater is in violation of Maryland's zero tolerance law.  A first time offender will have their license suspended for 6-months and may be ordered to attend an approved alcohol treatment program.

A second offense under the age of 21 will result in your license being suspended for 1-year or until you turn 21, whichever is longer, as an example, if you just turned 19 and this is your second offense, your license will be suspended for 2-years until you turn 21 years old.

If an under age offender's blood alcohol concentration is .07% or greater, they may face the same penalties as someone over the age of 21 would face including jail time, fines, etc.

Maryland SR22 Requirements

Before the Maryland MVA will reinstate your license following your suspension period or before issuing you a restricted license, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Maryland SR-22 insurancecoverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Maryland MVA of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Maryland MVA will immediately suspended your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the MVA before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Maryland and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in Maryland for any less. Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Maryland DUI Resources

  • Maryland First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Maryland SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about Maryland's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Maryland DUI Alcohol Education Programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI alcohol education programs listed by County.

  • Maryland Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Maryland's bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.