DWI / DUI Defense

In Maryland, both a DUI and DWI conviction can result in serious consequences. Although these two charges are typically bundled together during an arrest, there is a distinct difference between the two.

When someone is accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), the person has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. The state can charge and convict a person of DUI without having to prove that a person was actually affected by the amount of alcohol in their blood. Individuals with a BAC lower than .08 may also be convicted but the prosecution will have to convince a judge or jury that the driver’s coordination was impaired by the amount of alcohol in the blood.

Driving While Impaired (DWI) is the lesser charge of the two but can still have detrimental consequences to your future. In order to be charged with a DWI, a driver has a BAC of .07- .079 which is fairly close to DUI’s BAC of .08. The prosecution must prove that there was alcohol in the driver’s blood and it impaired their driving coordination. The MVA will also assess 8 points against the driver’s license which can cause a license suspension.


Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys in Baltimore, MD

Since 1992, the attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates have proven their dedication to fighting DUI cases for a reduction of the charges or an outright dismissal. Over and over again, former clients refer friends and family to James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates and in need of a DUI defense lawyer.

If you have been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland or surrounding areas, call James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 for a free evaluation of your case.


Information Center for Drunk Driving/ DWI/ DUI


Types of DUI / DWI Charges

Our attorneys represent throughout Maryland against all types of impaired-driving charges, such as:

  • First-time DUI / DWI OffensesT – The vast majority of DUI/DWI cases involve first-time offenses, in which the driver made a mistake by getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the highly-charged nature of drunk driving law makes even first-time offenses a problem for those who want to keep their driving records clean and their insurance rates down.
  • Second-time DUI/DWI OffensesA – A person who has previously been convicted of driving while impaired by a drug or alcohol faces harsher penalties than someone who is a first time offender. They are subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for no less than 5 days.
  • Administrative SuspensionA – After an arrest for DUI or DWI, the arresting officer will take your driver’s license and provide you with a notice of an administrative suspension. You should talk to an attorney about ways to fight to have the suspension invalidated during an MVA hearing.
  • Felony charges – Drivers with a history of DUI are more likely to be charged with a felony-level offense. Moreover, if an impaired driver causes a car accident involving injury or death, felony charges are almost certain to result. Significant jail time is a distinct possibility if you’ve been charged with a felony.
  • Driver’s license suspension – Almost all DUI/DWI cases threaten the loss – either temporary or permanent – of your privilege to drive. After an arrest for DUI, you have 10 days to request an MVA hearing to argue against the suspension of your driver’s license.
  • DUI involving drugs – The police are trained to suspect other causes of impaired driving other than alcohol. Driving under the influence of a drug like marijuana or prescription drugs can also result in charges with similar consequences.

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Penalties for DUI under Maryland Law

Every two minutes in the United States, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. In 2014, 141 victims were killed by a drunk driver on Maryland’s roads. In response, the Maryland legislature continues to enhance the penalties for a first or subsequent DUI or DWI conviction in Maryland.

After a conviction or any impaired driving offense in Maryland, including both DUI and DWI, you face both criminal penalties and license sanctions. The penalties and punishments depend on whether it is your first offense, your second offense within 5 years, or your second offense ever.

If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) then the penalties include:

  • For the first conviction for DUI in Maryland, you face the following penalties:
    • up to a $1,000 fine;
    • up to twelve (12) months in jail;
    • twelve (12) points will be assessed on your driving record;
    • a license may be revoked for up to six (6) months; and
    • may be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.
  • For the second conviction for DUI in Maryland, the penalties are as follows:
    • $2,000 fine;
    • up to two years imprisonment;
    • mandatory minimum of five days imprisonment;
    • twelve (12) points will be assessed on driver license;
    • a driver license may be revoked for up to one year;
    • may be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.
  • For a second conviction of DUI in Maryland within five years, the penalties are as follows:
    • a mandatory period of suspension;
    • after the period of suspension, a minimum required period of participation in the Ignition Interlock Program; and
    • may be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.

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Penalties for DWI under Maryland Law

If you are convicted of Driving while Impaired by Alcohol (DWI) the penalties include:

  • For a first DWI Conviction, you face the following:
    • up to a $500 fine;
    • up to two months imprisonment;
    • eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record;
    • 6-month license suspension;
    • if this conviction is the result of a driver under 21, you will face a 1-year suspension.
  • For a second DWI conviction, you will face the following:
    • a $500 fine;
    • up to one-year imprisonment;
    • eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record;
    • a license suspension of 9 to 12 months;
    • if this conviction is the result of a driver under 21, you will face a 2-year suspension.

The penalties are substantially higher if you are transporting a minor at the time of the offense or for a third offense.


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DUI / DWI in a Commercial Motor Vehicle

In addition to any suspension for a test failure or refusal, if you were operating a commercial motor vehicle while DUI or DWI and your test result indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, or you refuse to take a test your commercial driver’s license or privilege shall be disqualified for one (1) year for a first offense. The suspension is for three (3) years for a first offense committed while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded.

Your privileges will be disqualified for life if your commercial driver’s license has been previously disqualified for at least 1 year under MD TA§16-812(a) or (b), a federal law, or any other state’s law.


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Refusal to Submit to Testing in a DUI Case in Maryland

If the arresting officer alleges that the driver refused to submit to a test to determine the presence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled dangerous substances is often admissible in evidence at trial under CJ § 10-309. A test refusal also subjects a driver to an administrative per se license suspension.


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Additional DWI/ DUI Resources

Blood Alcohol Calculator–  – View the Health Status website to take a quick assessment that can help calculate your Blood Alcohol Concentration. All you have to do is put your gender, height, weight, beverage, the number of drinks, and the time since you began drinking.

Maryland Impaired Driving Laws – The website of Maryland’s Department of Transportation has a page that discusses Maryland impaired driving laws. It also discusses penalties for violating your license restriction and refusing to submit to a test.


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Attorneys for DWI / DUI Defense in Baltimore, Maryland

As DUI / DWI defense attorneys in Maryland, the attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates know that these cases come in every shade of gray. We have defended clients who got into DUI trouble for the first time and individuals who already have a history of impaired driving.

Every driver accused of drunk driving deserves an aggressive legal defense, whether that defense involves fighting for an outright dismissal of the charges, a reduction to less serious charges or taking the case all the way to trial.

The DUI defense attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates also represent commercial drivings and holders of a CDL license for a drunk driving offense that occurred in a commercial vehicle or in a non-commercial vehicle.

For a strong DUI / DWI defense, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. 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.

Call 443-709-9999 or contact an experienced attorney online for a free consultation.