DUI/DWI AND TRAFFIC

With Noah’s Law, the administrative penalties for DUIs became much stricter in the State of Maryland.  The attorneys at Lauderdale, Thompson and Warby take defending DUIs and other traffic offenses very seriously.  Our attorneys have years of experience helping people navigate the perils of Motor Vehicle Administration hearings and court appearances on these matters.  We have helped individuals avoid heavy fines and points, as well as periods of incarceration, which would otherwise have jeopardized their driver’s licenses.  Whether you need an attorney to argue on your behalf in front of the MVA or in front of a court of law, the lawyers at Lauderdale, Thompson and Warby are prepared to take the case.  The right to an administrative hearing in DUI cases must be requested within 30 days of the incident, so call today.

DUI Offence Basics

 

Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state. The crime can be referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), operating under the influence (OUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or operating a motor vehicle intoxicated (OMVI). Regardless of name, it’s illegal for a person to operate a car, motorcycle, truck, or commercial vehicle if  their abilities are compromised by the influence of prescription medication, alcohol, or illicit drugs. This can be measured by established DUI standards, like blood-alcohol concentration (BAC)

Field Sobriety and Chemical tests

 

Law enforcement may pull over any driver they suspect to be driving under the influence and subject them to a field sobriety test as well as ask permission for chemical testing.

 

Any physical test that determines current cognitive ability is considered a field test, such as reciting the alphabet backwards, walking in a straight path, or the "horizontal gaze nystagmus" (eye and penlight) test.

 

Chemical tests are measures of toxins in bodily fluids that can conducted either while pulled over or at a hospital. Many states let people choose what test they prefer, either a breathalyzer test which is conducted on the spot or urine and blood tests are done at a hospital.

Refusing a Chemical Test

 If a driver is suspected of DUI, there is a mandatory “implied consent” when it comes to chemical tests in all states. By driving on state roads and highways a person gives an automatic consent to be tested by police when there is reasonable suspicion of impaired driving.

 

Refusal to submit to implied consent laws results in a mandatory suspension of the driver’s license for six months to a year. Test refusal penalties are often more harsh than the penalties of a DUI.

Zero Tolerance

In the eyes of the law, if a driver has a blood alcohol concentration above .8, they are “per se intoxicated” and need no further proof to be convicted of driving drunk. Additional penalties are given in Pennsylvania if the BAC is over .16.

 

“Zero tolerance” is the blood alcohol concentration limit for underage drinking. In the state of Pennsylvania, it can be no higher than .02.

 

Cases against drivers can still be made even without proof of “per se” intoxication, if other evidence is present. A police testimony of swerved driving or slurred speech can be used to press charges for driving under the influence.

DUI Convictions

There are a variety of criminal penalties that can occur from a DUI charge, such as jail time, fines, and community service. Many states have a minimum offense for the first time and have compounding penalties for further offenses. There are a number of different factors influence the severity of the penalty, including:

  • If it was a commercial vehicle being operated

  • If there was any previous of DUI violations

  • If any property that was damaged by the driver

  • If any children were inside the vehicle at the time

  • If anyone besides the driver was injured or killed

  • IF the driver was under the legal drinking age

Contact Us Now For A Free Consultation - 301-880-9140

Offices in Prince George's, Anne Arundel & Charles Counties

9701 Apollo Dr. • Suite 301 • Largo, MD 20774

1125 West Street • Suite 319 • Annapolis, MD 21401

3261 Old Washington Road • Suite 2020 • Waldorf, MD 20602

6710 Oxon Hill Road • Oxon Hill, MD 20745

 

The information on this website is not intended as specific legal advice, but rather is of a general informational nature. Each case is different always consult with a LTW Lawyer for specific legal advice. No specific results implied. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.