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Drunk driving charges are serious criminal charges that many people may not fully understand. During 2016, greater than 1 million drivers in the United States were arrested on driving under the influence charges which is why they are important criminal charges to understand.

In the United States it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. In the state of Maryland, as in most other states, there are two categories of potential consequences and penalties associated with a drunk driving charges. Accused individuals can face both criminal penalties, including jail time and fines, and administrative consequences, including driver’s license suspension. The chance of jail time increases with additional DUI charges.

For example, for a second DUI charge within 5 years of the first, the accused individual must serve a mandatory 5 days in jail. A mandatory 10-day sentence is imposed for a third DUI conviction within 5 years of last. If the accused individual refuses to take a breath test, their license will be automatically be suspended for 9 months. If the accused individual takes a breathalyzer test, and tests over 0.08 percent, they will lose their license for 6 months. The loss of a license or jail time are potentially serious and significant penalties and consequences and should not be taken lightly.

Because the potentially long-term consequences of a DUI charges, criminal defense options are important to be familiar with. Criminal defense strategies can help with the criminal penalties and administrative consequences associated with a charge of driving under the influence.