While getting charged with a DUI is never a good thing, perhaps where you
get charged with one can make a big difference. According to a new study by
WalletHub.com, Maryland has the second most lenient penalties for DUI in the country.
The most lenient state when it comes to DUIs is South Dakota.
The WalletHub study reports that Maryland also ranked 32nd when it came
to DUI prevention rate. Washington D.C. was ranked 50th for weak DUI penalties.
Virginia, though, was certainly not at the bottom of any list when it
comes to strict penalties for DUIs — it ranked eighth for harshest
penalties and 13th for their DUI prevention rate.
So how did the study come up with these rankings? There were several variables
used, including minimum jail time on a first or second offense, how large
a fine is charged, how long a driver’s license would be suspended,
when, if ever, an ignition interlock is required and if the state utilizes
In Maryland, at no point does a
DUI automatically become a felony. If the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration
is .15 or higher, then an ignition interlock system will be required —
even for the first offense. However, Maryland doesn’t have fines
for the first offense.
The study also found that driving under the influence cost U.S. citizens
almost $60 billion on average each year. In addition, 31 percent of fatal
motor vehicle accidents involved drunk drivers in 2012.
If you are facing a DUI, it is important to know all of your legal options.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case and develop
a strong defense.
Source: Bowie Patch, “Maryland Among Most Lenient States Regarding Drunk Driving,” Ethan Levine, June 16, 2015