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In the state of Maryland, there are very strict laws pertaining to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any person found in violation of these laws can be charged with driving under the influence, commonly known as a DUI. A person facing a DUI can face a variety of different consequences. If the person is under the age of 21, these consequences can be different from that of a person who is the legal drinking age. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced Maryland traffic defense attorney for assistance with your case.

What is Maryland’s Underage DUI Law?

Maryland has a zero-tolerance policy regarding underage drinking and driving. Stated in Maryland Code 16-113, the state holds an alcohol restriction on the licenses of all drivers who are not 21 yet. This means drivers who cannot legally consume alcohol are unable to drink at all before operating a motor vehicle, even if they are not impaired. A person under the age of 21 can lose their driving privileges if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.02% while driving a vehicle. 

What are the Penalties of an Underage DUI?

When a person under the age of 21 is found driving under the influence, they can be charged with a DUI. This comes with certain consequences because of their actions. Drivers who are at least 18 years old but younger than 21 will have their case heard in criminal court. If they are under the age of 18, the case will be handled in juvenile court. 

The maximum penalty that an underage driver may be subject to in adult court is the same as drivers who are convicted of a DUI over the age of 21. This can include one year in jail, a $1000 fine, and 12 points on their license. The maximum penalty for driving while intoxicated, a DWI, is 60 days incarceration, a $500 fine, and eight points on their license. However, it is important to note that the sentences given are usually not the maximum. Typically, first time offenders are not incarcerated, their fine can be under $500, and they may not get points on their license. Drivers under 21 can also have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for six months. Additionally, drivers under 21 can be charged with violating an alcohol restriction which carries its own penalties. 

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz proudly offers criminal and traffic defense and personal injury services to clients in Anne Arundel County and Howard County Maryland. With so much at stake, you need a legal team you can trust. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.

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