DUI Considerations for St. Patrick’s Day

Eat, drink, and be merry – just don’t try to drive home once the St. Patrick’s Day fun is all over. Here, the DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Douglas T. Sachse detail just how serious a DUI or DWI charge can be.

Driving drunk can cost thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees if you are charged with a DUI or DWI, or worse can endanger both your life and the lives of other motorists on the road. The number of drunk driving incidents is substantially higher during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday than typical national averages. While St. Patrick’s Day may have a reputation for heavy drinking, and pub crawls, it does not mean you shouldn’t have a plan for how to get home after last call.

Below, the DUI experts at The Law Offices of Douglas T. Sachse have detailed the penalties, both civil and criminal, you can incur if you are charged with a DUI or DWI:

DWI

  • First-Offense DWI – A driver can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .04 and .08%, and their normal behavior has been altered. If convicted, you could face up to a $500 fine, two months in jail, eight points on your driving record, and a six-month license suspension.
  • Second-Offense DWI – A second DWI charge can result in up to a $500 fine, a full year in jail, eight points on your license, and nine to 12-month license suspension.

Please note that these penalties are significantly higher for those under 21, and for those transporting a minor at the time of their arrest.

DUI

  • First-Offense DUI – A DUI charge is more serious than a DWI, and can occur if a driver’s BAC is over .08%. A first offense can require you to pay a $1000 fine, serve a year-long jail sentence, receive 12 points on your driving record, and face a six-month license suspension.
  • Second-Offense DUI – If you are charged with a second DUI, you may face fines and penalties that double in severity. A second-offense doubles your initial fine to $2000, and increases the maximum imprisonment to two years (with a mandatory minimum of five days.) You can receive 12 points on your license, and your driving privileges can be suspended for up to a year.

The Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016 (Noah’s Law) – In October 2016, new legislation was passed that makes Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program required for anyone charged with a DUI, DWI while transporting a minor, or a Homicide or life-threatening injury while under the influence. An ignition interlock is a device that prevents a driver from starting and continuously using their vehicle if a certain level of alcohol is detected on their breath. A primary DUI or DWI charge requires the offender to be enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Program for six months, while a second requires a full year and a third or further charge requires three years of enrollment. Instead of facing license suspension, a driver charged with a DUI or DWI may be able to immediately opt-in to the program.

Celebrate your Irish pride responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day: Save yourself and those around you from the potential risks and hazards of drunk driving. For more information about DUI and DWI charges, or for legal representation against a DUI or DWI charge, contact Douglas T. Sachse.

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