Drunk Driving, What Are Your Rights, and What Are the Penalties?
It is against the law in Maryland — as it is in every state of the Union — to drive a car, a boat, or any other motor vehicle if you are impaired in specific ways due to having ingested something.
Specifically, DUI (“Driving Under the Influence”) and DWI (“Driving While Impaired”) are phrases that indicate serious criminal offenses related to driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
Maryland DUI is prosecuted under two different theories: that the defendant is under the influence of alcohol, meaning that the driver’s normal coordination has been substantially impaired as a result of the consumption of alcohol; or, that the driver has violated Maryland’s “per se” law of driving with .08% or more BAC (blood alcohol level), regardless of any demonstrated lack of driving ability or driving impairment.
It is highly recommended that you not drink and drive. This will save you a lot of time and money, and most importantly, could save your life, the life of a loved one, or the life of an innocent person. Also, of course, if the MVA imposes points against you, your insurance company will most likely raise your premiums or drop your coverage entirely.
Traffic Offenses & Violations
Minor Violations Can Have Serious Consequences — Know Your Rights!
So — you’ve gotten a traffic ticket, and you’re trying to figure out whether it’s worth your trouble to contest it? Unlike how the law used to be, now you will not automatically be given a court date — you have to affirmatively request one.
That’s why it’s important that you have all the information you need, to help you to decide.
Most traffic violations are considered minor criminal offenses; although some offenses, such as “Driving While Intoxicated” or “Driving Under the Influence” are taken quite seriously
But even minor mechanical or speeding violations can have serious consequences, leading up to your license being suspended, if you incur several infractions over a short period of time.
Frequently as well, you will have to pay the fine listed on the face of the ticket, and there is a strong possibility that your vehicle insurance premiums will increase.
It is therefore highly recommended that you contact a lawyer prior to appearing at court regarding the traffic violation or speeding violations. Your attorney will be able to assess your current situation and recommend a professional resolution to the traffic violation.
This includes showing covering what we lawyers call “elements”: specifics that must all be proven in order for a judge or jury to find you guilty.
Some facts, such as the location of where you were stopped or what caused you to be pulled over, like having a burnt out tail light or driving 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, can be proven through a scientific manner.
Other elements of your infraction could be more subjective, such as whether you were going a reasonable and safe speed or whether your actions were safe under the road and weather conditions.
In any case, your attorney will help you prepare the best actions to take. And, whatever decision you make, your attorney will make sure you make it within the time deadlines in operation.