Maryland Aggravated DUI
If you’ve ever been pulled over by a member of Maryland’s law enforcement team, you know how scary it is to see those flashing blue lights suddenly appear behind you. Although being stopped for speeding or running a red light can be quite frightening, the experience becomes even more nerve-wracking when you are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI)—especially if your case involves any extenuating factors. In these circumstances, you could even be charged with a more severe offense known as Maryland aggravated DUI.
Operating a vehicle with an excessive amount of alcohol in your bloodstream (a blood alcohol content above 0.15%), transporting a minor, and causing a serious auto accident are three of the most common reasons why a person may be charged with aggravated DUI. A DUI may also be treated more severely if a driver has a history of drunk driving, is caught driving 20 miles or more above the speed limit, or did not have a driver’s license at the time of his or her arrest.
Regardless of the reasoning behind it, an aggravated DUI carries a number of harsh penalties. If you are convicted of the offense in court, your sentence may include a minimum six-month license suspension, a $500 to $1,000 fine, and up to a one-year jail sentence. In addition, the judge may order you to obtain treatment for alcoholism, undergo counseling, and/or have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle—which means you will have to perform a breath test in order to start your vehicle.
Along with any penalties imposed by the court, a DUI conviction can cause long-term harm to your personal life. For example, you can expect your insurance rates to skyrocket once your provider learns that you were found guilty of drunk driving. A DUI conviction could even limit your future employment and housing opportunities—and no matter how much you want your DUI to go away, it will be virtually impossible to get your conviction removed from your criminal record.
Fortunately, being charged with aggravated DUI is not the same thing as being convicted of the offense in court. With help from an attorney, you may be able to put the odds back in your favor and avoid the most devastating consequences of a drunk driving conviction.
Bruce Robinson is available 24/7 to answer your legal questions at 443-524-7395. Also, fill out a short online form to receive a free copy of The Maryland DUI Fact Book.