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Maryland considering expanded interlock requirement for DUI convictions

Currently, 20 states require all convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices.
 
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    February 06, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime in Maryland. Drivers who are convicted of a DUI offense can face significant penalties including loss of their driver's license, fines and even jail time.

If advocates from Mothers Against Drunk Driving get their way, the penalties for Maryland drunk driving offenses may grow even more severe. MADD wants Maryland lawmakers to require every person convicted of DUI -- even first-time offenders -- to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Ignition interlocks are breath-testing devices that prevent a vehicle from being started if the driver has alcohol on his or her breath.

Currently, 20 states require all convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices. Supporters say the mandate is intended to help prevent recidivism. MADD cites statistics showing that interlock mandates reduce repeat offenses by up to 65 percent.

Supporters of increased ignition interlock requirements say they intend on pushing the issue during the 2014 legislative session. In addition to MADD, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Governors Highway Safety Association also support expanded ignition interlock requirements

Maryland DUI penalties

Regardless of whether Maryland adopts stricter ignition interlock requirements, it is important for anyone accused of DUI to understand the long-lasting impact a conviction can have. Because the penalties can be so serious, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced Maryland DUI defense attorney.

Under Maryland law, a first offense for driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent -- called "driving under the influence" or "DUI" -- carries potential penalties including up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and a six-month driver's license suspension. If there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the jail sentence and fine can be doubled.

Driving with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.06 percent but less than 0.08 percent is considered "driving while impaired" or "DWI." A first-time DWI conviction can be punished by up to two months in jail, a fine of up to $500 and a six-month driver's license suspension. When a minor is present in the vehicle, the jail term increases to a possibility of six months of incarceration and the potential fine increases to $1,000.

Subsequent offenses DUI and DWI offenses can result in even more severe penalties, including mandatory minimum jail sentences.

If you have been charged with a Maryland drunk driving offense, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best strategy for protecting your future. The attorney will be able to evaluate all of the circumstances surrounding your case to advise you on the best plan for moving forward.

Article provided by Maryland DUI Lawyers
Visit us at duilawyermaryland.org/



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