DUI/DWI

        The offense commonly called drunk driving is also often referred to as either "DUI" (driving under the influence), "DUI Per Se" (driving under the influence per se), or "DWI" (driving while impaired). They are all similar offenses and can be found in Statute 21-902 of the Maryland Vehicle Law Annotated. Often, a person charged with a drunk driving offense receives citations for all three of the above. However, he can only be convicted of one of the charges for one particular stop. The maximum penalties for DUI Per Se and DUI are one year incarceration and/or a $1,000 fine for the first offense, two years and $2,000 for a second offense, and three years and $3,000 for all subsequent offenses. In addition to the above penalties, the Motor Vehicle Association ("MVA") will impose twelve points on the driver's record and will often revoke the driver's privilege to drive.

Driving while impaired ("DWI") carries a maximum penalty of sixty days of incarceration and a $500.00 for a first offense, with a one-year and a $500.00 fine for all subsequent offenses. In addition, the MVA will impose eight points on the driver's record and the driver's license may be suspended.

A driver who is charged with a drinking and driving-related offense should be aware that he has a right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge prior to his license being revoked or suspended. In order to ensure that the driver's privilege to drive is not suspended prior to the hearing, the request for a hearing must be made within ten days of the date of the Order of Suspension. If a request is made after the 10-day period, but within thirty days of the date of the Order of Suspension, the driver will still receive a hearing. However, the suspension will take effect on the 46th day after the date of the Order of Suspension.