Maryland DUI Laws

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Maryland DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08%, and the threshold for a DWI is lower. Receiving multiple convictions, driving a passenger under 18, or having a high BAC will increase the penalties.
In the United States, over 10,000 people are killed as a result of drunk driving crashes each year.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUIs in Maryland.
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What is a DUI?

A DUI is considered driving under the influence, while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. It is left to the discretion of the state to determine the difference between the two. In Maryland, a driver can be convicted of a DWI with a lower BAC than 0.08% as it only requires proof that the driver’s faculties were impaired by drugs or alcohol.
A DUI charge could mean that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs—even if the drugs weren’t illicit. A driver could be charged with a DUI while on prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs if they cause impairment.
Some states use a different terminology altogether, instead favoring OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

DUI in Maryland

Maryland DUI laws prohibit driving or controlling a vehicle if the driver:
  • has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%
  • is under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, drugs, or a combination
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
All people who drive in Maryland are considered to have tacitly given their consent to a blood, breath, or urine alcohol or drug test. If a driver fails or refuses the test, an officer can automatically seize their license.
Drivers can contest the implied consent suspension by requesting a hearing within ten days of the suspension notice.

Penalties for DUI in Maryland

Penalties for DUIs in Maryland are determined by the severity of the offense and the number of prior convictions in the last five years.

First offense

PenaltyDescription
Fineup to $1,000
JailMaximum of 1 year
License suspensionUp to 6 months
IID requirementUp to 6 months

Second conviction

PenaltyDescription
Fineup to $2,000
JailMaximum of 2 years
License suspensionUp to 9 months
IID requirementUp to 1 year

Third conviction

PenaltyDescription
FineUp to $5,000
JailUp to 5 years
License suspensionUp to 12 months
IID requirementUp to 3 years
Penalties may be more severe after a first offense if the driver has a BAC of 0.15% or higher. If the driver was transporting a passenger under 18, they face up to one year in jail and up to an additional $1,000 in fines. These amounts increase for a second offense.
If the driver is younger than 21, they may be required to participate in an ignition interlock device (IID) program for up to three years.
Key Takeaway Minimum penalties for DUIs increase for each subsequent offense.

Restricted licenses

If a driver is convicted of a DUI, they may face an official license suspension, but they could still be permitted to drive with the installation of an IID.
Drivers can also apply for a hardship license, which would allow them to drive with some restrictions—provided that their BAC was below 0.15% during the offense.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Maryland?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously. You’ll be classified as a high-risk driver, and some insurance companies may deny you coverage altogether.
It can be difficult to secure insurance with a DUI on your record, so you’ll probably need to look at several providers. Jerry can quickly compare rates from up to 50 top insurers so that you don’t have to spend time completing long online forms and dealing with sales calls.
Expect your rates to rise substantially after a DUI. Your insurance company will also need to file an SR-22 in Maryland on your behalf to confirm that you hold the state-mandated minimum insurance.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, your life can be severely impacted by a DUI.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked—especially if you have multiple DUIs or other offenses.
Ignition interlock device (IID): Drivers who are convicted of a DUI in Maryland may be put in an IID program for a specified period, depending on the number of convictions. An IID is installed in the car and deactivates the engine if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.
Background checks: DUIs appear on background checks, which could adversely impact your future employment opportunities.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

If you need help finding affordable insurance after a DUI conviction, Jerry can help. After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
To ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and recognition as the top insurance app in the country.
“I saw an ad for Jerry on Instagram and decided to give it a try. I have a terrible driving record, but Nathan still helped me. Before, almost no one wanted to insure me. Now, I have a great policy and save $200/month. I’m one happy gal!” —Terri C.
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