Maryland DUI With Kids in the Car
Getting charged with a DUI is bad enough, but if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Maryland, and you have children in the car at the time of your arrest, you could be facing seriously enhanced penalties. If you are arrested for DUI with children in your car, our dedicated team wants you to know your options. Don’t plead guilty until you’ve spoken with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense lawyer.
Maryland DUI Basics
Under Section 21-902 of the Maryland Revised Statutes, it’s unlawful to drive while impaired by alcohol. There are two basic ways you can be found guilty of driving while impaired by alcohol. First, you can be found guilty of DUI per se, meaning your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is measured and found to be above the legal limit, which is 0.08% in Maryland. But even without a BAC level above the legal limit (and even without submitting to a breathalyzer at all), you can still be convicted based on other evidence of intoxication.
What are the Basic Penalties for DUI?
In general, absent other charges or aggravating factors, DUI penalties are as follows:
- First Offense Up to 1 year in jail Up to $1,000 fine
- Second Offense Up to 2 years in jail Up to $2,000 fine
- Third of Subsequent Offenses Up to 3 years in jail Up to $3,000 fine
A prior conviction is one that occurred within 5 years of the present offense. There are some exceptions, so you should definitely speak with an attorney about your unique circumstances to be sure you understand the possible penalties you may face.
What Happens if a Child is in the Car?
If you have a minor in the vehicle with you at the time of your arrest, the penalties are more severe. For instance, take a look at the elevated sentencing guidelines:
- First Offense Up to 2 years in jail Up to $2,000 fine
- Second Offense Up to 3 years in jail Up to $3,000 fine
- Third of Subsequent Offenses Up to 4 years in jail Up to $4,000 fine
Basically, the same crime has an extra year and extra $1,000 added to each sequential offense.
Other Similar Offenses
If you are not actually intoxicated or “under the influence,” as defined in the statute, you may still be charged with lesser offenses, such as driving while alcohol impaired or while impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol. These carry lighter sentences. Keep in mind that if you are arrested with a child in the car, even these lighter sentences can be enhanced.
Fighting a DUI Charge in Maryland
If you are charged with a drug or alcohol related driving offense in Anne Arundel, Howard, or Baltimore Counties, call an attorney with the experience to fight for your rights. Never plead guilty or talk to police and prosecutors without first discussing your case with a knowledgeable defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink today to schedule your consultation.