The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett

A Maryland Law Firm Based in Silver Spring And Serving Surrounding Communities

A second DUI in five years means steep penalties

There is no doubt that intoxicated driving poses a serious danger on the road, and Maryland law reflects that fact. Even a first offense may mean a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail and license revocation for up to six months.

In recent years, the state has imposed even stricter penalties for those who receive a second DUI conviction in an effort to crack down on repeat offenders. In addition to criminal penalties, subsequent DUI charges may lead to severely restricted driving privileges.

Criminal penalties

The potential criminal penalties for a second DUI include a $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five days imprisonment. The court may also require completion of a drug and alcohol assessment and/or treatment plan.

Driving penalties

A second DUI conviction may also result in 12 points added to the driver’s record and license revocation for up to one year.

Additionally, if the driver has received two convictions within the past five years, he or she may have to participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program for an additional year following a suspension period. Drivers in this program must install a device that prevents a vehicle from starting if his or her breath alcohol concentration reads above the calibrated setting.

Options when facing charges

Drunk driving laws exist for good reason. However, false or exaggerated DUI charges are far from uncommon. Drivers who believe the circumstances of their detention, testing or arrest were suspect should know that a DUI charge may not lead to a conviction.