In Maryland, What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?

In Maryland, What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?

Many confuse DUIs and DWIs as the same thing, but each crime holds a different weight. A DUI and a DWI in Maryland vary slightly and carry different charges if found guilty. Regardless, if you’re caught drunk driving, you may be subject to a DUI charge, a DWI charge, or in some cases, both.

The state of Maryland puts a lot of resources into cracking down on drivers who operate a vehicle while intoxicated, so if you find yourself with a DUI or DWI, you’ll want the best legal representation possible.

If you’re curious about the intricacies between a DWI and a DUI, this post should clarify some of your questions.

What is a DWI?

DWI stands for Driving While Impaired. This is considered a lesser charge than the typical DUI. DWI means that you’re still under the legal limit for drinking, but it’s still significant enough to pose a threat while driving a vehicle. A DWI still carries substantial penalties that should give you pause.

The blood alcohol concentration for a DWI is higher than 0.5 but below the legal limit of 0.8. Also, you are typically charged with a DWI if you refuse to provide a breath sample. This means that although you might not be completely drunk, you’re still driving with impaired senses, which can make you a danger on the road.

What is a DUI?

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. This means that your blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit of 0.8, or you’ve visibly consumed enough drugs or alcohol to become heavily impaired. This is considered a severe traffic offense in the state of Maryland, so you’ll want an experienced drunk driving lawyer in your corner to get the best outcome.

What are the penalties for a DUI or DWI in Maryland?

The penalties for a first-time DWI are less severe than a DUI, but can still make a significant impact on your life. For a DWI, you might experience:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $500
  • 8 points on your driver’s license
  • Suspended driver’s license for up to 6 months

The penalties for a DUI, however, are noticeably more severe. You might experience:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $1000
  • 12 points on your driver’s license
  • Revocation of your driver’s license

The repercussions of a DUI or DWI can follow you indefinitely. In Maryland, you can never expunge a DUI or DWI! Remember that whenever you need a background check run for any purpose, the person running the check will see your DUI, DWI, or jail time you served. It can affect your ability to get jobs or be approved for specific programs.

Another thing to be aware of is that you can be charged with a DUI and DWI simultaneously. In these cases, you’ll want to ensure you have the best DUI defense lawyer to get you the best possible outcome.

Create a strong defense.

Are you facing a potential DWI or DUI charge? Choose a winning DUI defense lawyer with a proven record of success. Call the professionals at Vernon Brownlee Law. We provide the best DUI defense in Maryland, and we are confident we can put together a plan you can trust. Don’t put your life in the hands of lawyers who can’t deliver. Contact us today.