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Maryland DUI Law Information

Drivers arrested in the State of Maryland for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol (DWI) will face severe DUI/DWI penalties, including potential jail time, a driver’s license suspension, potential mandatory ignition interlock installation, and fines.

Maryland DUI/DWI defined

Maryland statutes distinguish between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI).

In Maryland it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se, which means the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher.  

In the State of Maryland it is also illegal to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol, which means the driver’s BAC may be below the illegal limit, but they are unable to safely operate their motorized vehicle.

Specifically, driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol is defined as “driving or attempting to drive any vehicle while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol the driver cannot drive safely.”  (Maryland Transportation Code Section 21-902)

Maryland Look Back or wash-out period: 5 years

If a driver’s second or third driving infraction occurs during the look back period the DUI penalties can be substantially increased. The date begins on the date of the first DUI arrest.

Criminal DWI/DUI Penalties in Maryland

First DWI offense
(BAC below .08%)

  • 60 days in jail
  • $500 fine
  • 8 points against a driver’s license
  • Potential suspension of your driver’s license

First DUI offense
(BAC 0.08% or higher)

  • One year in jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • 120 day license suspension
  • 12 points against a driver’s license

Second DWI offense
(BAC below .08%)

  • Up to one year in jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • 8 point on your driver’s license
  • Potential suspension of your driver’s license

Second DUI offense
(Within 5 years)

  • Five days up to 2 years in jail
  • Maximum fine of $2,000
  • 12 points on your driver’ s license
  • Potential suspension and/or revocation of your license
  • Potentially required to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and attend follow up treatment for alcohol or drug addiction. 

Third DUI offense
(Within 5 years) 

  • Five days up to 3 years in jail
  • Maximum fine of $3,000
  • 12 points on your driver’ s license
  • Potential permanent suspension of your driver’s license
  • Potentially required to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and attend follow up treatment for alcohol or drug addiction. 

Administrative Penalties in Maryland

Drivers in Maryland have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if they have been arrested for DUI/DWI. Failure to consent to the required testing may result in administrative penalties, which are administered by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and are imposed regardless of whether the driver is ultimately convicted of DUI or DWI.

Drivers who refuse the chemical test will face the following administrative penalties:

  • First test refusal- 180 day license suspension
  • (you are not eligible for a restricted driver’s license for work, treatment, education, or medical necessity)
  • ·Second test refusal- 1 year license suspension (without modification)

In some cases an ignition interlock may be allowed but that is at the discretion of the court.

To challenge an administrative suspension, drivers must request an administrative hearing by contacting the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearing. If you do not request a hearing within 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest your license will be automatically suspended after 45 days from the date of your DUI or DWI arrest.

(Read more: - state laws )





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