Life-Threatening Injury While DUI

According to the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, during fiscal 2015, six individuals were sentenced in the circuit courts for violating the alcohol-related and/or drug-related offenses under the Criminal Law Article (causing life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a CDS).

The Department of State Police in Maryland has historically required any driver involved in a motor vehicle accident with injuries to take a test of blood or breath if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the motorist was driving under the influence of alcohol or was impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a CDS.

For DUI-related offenses in Maryland, the term “vehicle” includes a motor vehicle, streetcar, locomotive, engine, or train. A “motor vehicle” is a vehicle that is self-propelled or propelled by electric power obtained from overhead electrical wires and is not operated on rails. A “vessel” is any watercraft that is used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water or ice but does not include a seaplane.

Under the Natural Resources Article, “vessel” means every description of watercraft, including an iceboat, but not including a seaplane, that is used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water or ice.

Although “Life-threatening injury” is not defined in the statute under the Criminal Law Article, the term “serious physical injury” is defined as a physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes permanent or protracted disfigurement or loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.


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Types of Offenses for Negligently Causing a Life-Threatening Injury

Maryland law provides for five misdemeanor offenses concerning negligently causing a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol or drugs. As with the homicide offenses involving negligence, these provisions require a finding of simple negligence.

  • Under § 3-211(c)(1)(i), the first offense prohibits a person from causing a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is under the influence of alcohol.
  • Under § 3-211(c) (1)(ii), the second offense prohibits a person from causing a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is under the influence of alcohol per se.
  • Under § 3-211(d), the third offense prohibits a person from causing a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol.
  • Under § 3-211(e), the fourth offense prohibits a person from causing a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is so far impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol that the person cannot operate the motor vehicle safely.
  • Under § 3-211(f), the fifth offense prohibits a person from causing a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is impaired by a controlled dangerous substance. This provision does not apply, however, to a person who is entitled to use the controlled dangerous substance.

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Maryland’s Statute for Causing Life-Threatening Injury While DUI

A person may not cause life-threatening injury to another as a result of negligently operating or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se. Likewise, a person may not cause life-threatening injury to another as a result of negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while:

  1. impaired by alcohol;
  2. impaired by a drug, any combination of drugs, or any combination of drugs and alcohol; or
  3. impaired by a CDS.

The term “impaired by alcohol” is defined to mean prima facie evidence as indicated, at the time of testing, by an alcohol concentration of at least 0.07, but less than 0.08, as measured by grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

The term “under the influence of alcohol per se” to mean having an alcohol concentration at the time of testing of at least 0.08 as measured by grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

The term “under the influence of alcohol per se” to mean having an alcohol concentration at the time of testing of at least 0.08 as measured by grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

A person who is convicted of life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol, under the influence of alcohol per se, or impaired by a CDS is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to maximum penalties of a fine of $5,000 and/or three years imprisonment.

A person who is convicted of life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by alcohol or while impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol is subject to maximum penalties of a fine of $3,000 and/or two years imprisonment.

Under the Transportation Article, a person who is in a motor vehicle accident that results in death or life-threatening injury to another person is required to submit to a test if detained by an officer who has reasonable grounds to believe the person committed an alcohol and/or drug-related driving offense. The Motor Vehicle Administration must assess 12 points against the license of a person who is convicted of causing a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol and related crimes and the license is subject to revocation.

Under the Natural Resources Article, if a person is involved in an accident while operating or attempting to operate a vessel that results in death or life-threatening injury to another person, and the person is detained by a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has been operating a vessel or attempting to do so while under the influence of alcohol, impaired by alcohol, impaired by alcohol, drugs and/or a combination of drugs and alcohol; or impaired by a CDS, the person must be required to submit, as directed by a police officer to a test of blood or breath, or both, as specified.


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Negligently Causing Life-Threatening Injury

Under § 3-211(c) and (f), a person who causes a life-threatening injury to another as a result of negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se, or while the person is under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, is subject to imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to $3,000 or both.

Under § 3-211(d) and (e), a person who causes life-threatening injury to another as a result of negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or while so far impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person cannot operate the motor vehicle safely is subject to imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to $3,000 or both.


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Attorney for DUI with Injury Crimes in Baltimore, Maryland

James Crawford is an experienced DUI / DWI attorney in Baltimore, MD. He has more than two decades of experience as a trial lawyer defending people against Maryland state charges including all types of misdemeanors and felonies. He fights criminal charges in in Baltimore and across the State of Maryland. He and his team of attorneys are experienced in fighting property crimes such as DUI and DUI with serious bodily injury or life-threatening injury.

He knows the tactics used by the law enforcement officers and prosecutors with the Offices of the Maryland State’s Attorneys who presents the state’s case in criminal trials in the District Courts. To protect your reputation and your future, then contact an experienced attorney before you talk to police or anyone else about the accusation.

The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operate four offices for your convenience, including the main office in Baltimore as well as offices in Catonsville, Annapolis and Bel Air, MD.

If you have been arrested for in the malicious destruction of property in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney focused on property crimes today.

Call 443-709-9999 to talk about your case and your best defense to the criminal charges.