The legal age to consume alcohol in Maryland is 21 years of age. If you are under 21 years old and are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you face harsh penalties if you are convicted. However, you may be able to avoid some of the stiff punishments if you retain an experienced DUI lawyer in Maryland as soon as possible.
Underage DUI and DWI Charges and Penalties in Maryland
There is zero tolerance for underage DUI and driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Maryland. You can be charged with one of these offenses if you have even a trace of alcohol in your bloodstream while driving a motor vehicle, which means that you can be arrested for DUI if your blood alcohol content is 0.02 percent or higher.
If you are over the age of 18 years old, you would be tried as an adult. However, if you are younger than 18 years old, your criminal case would be decided in juvenile court.
The penalties for underage drinking are the same as those for an adult. The maximum penalties are as follows:
- DUI: 12-month jail sentence, $1,000 fine, and 12 points on your driver’s license
- DWI: 60-day jail sentence, $500 fine, and 8 points on your driver’s license
Consequences of an Underage DUI on Your Driving Privileges
A conviction of underage DUI can have major consequences to your right to drive as well as the criminal punishments you face. If you are under 21 years old, a first offense DUI will result in a six-month suspension of your driver’s license. A second conviction may result in a revocation of your driving privileges. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on the vehicle that you drive when you are able to resume driving.
Have you been charged with underage DUI? Are you the parent of a child who was charged with underage DUI or DWI? While you may be tempted to act out of anger at your teen or young adult, he needs your help. The best way to do this is to immediately retain a skilled DUI attorney to mount a strong defense to the charges he faces so that they are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
At The Wilson Law Firm, our legal team has extensive experience defending individuals charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and Virginia. Find out about our aggressive representation in these cases by reading our testimonials from satisfied clients. Then fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can help your child or you.