The first time you face a conviction for driving under the influence, a Maryland judge may hand down a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A repeat DUI offense, however, may result in far more serious consequences.
As noted by the Maryland Department of Transportation, carrying at least two convictions may result in a 12-month driver’s license suspension, a $2,000 fine and spending up to two years in jail. A judge may also decide to order you to participate in an Ignition Interlock Program after your driving privileges become conditionally restored.
A DUI charge may not require alcohol consumption
You may face a repeat offense even if you drank nothing alcoholic. Some motorists mistakenly believe that a DUI only results from consuming alcoholic beverages. Other substances, such as prescription pills, may also impair your ability to operate a vehicle. If a law enforcement official pulls you over for a traffic violation and believes you are under the influence, he or she may test your level of impairment.
As described on the Maryland General Assembly website, even if entitled to the use of a drug or substance by state law, you may still face charges if found impaired while operating a motor vehicle. A refusal to submit to a roadside test may also result in a DUI charge.
You may defend against the allegations
Because you need a vehicle to drive to and from work, a DUI charge may seriously affect your ability to earn income. You may, however, defend against an officer’s allegations. The circumstances, for example, may act in your favor when the officer’s roadside stop or impairment test involved procedural mistakes.