Drinking and Driving Laws in Maryland

February 18, 2021 by Yale Spector

drinking and driving in Maryland

Drunk Driving Laws – Maryland

Drinking and driving leads to thousands of deaths and millions of injuries each year in the United States alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they estimate that someone dies every 53 minutes as a result of a motor vehicle crash that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. It is estimated that the annual cost of alcohol-related accidents totals more than $44 billion. Each state is different with how they handle drinking and driving. Some states will have legislation in place that increased jail time while others have police checkpoints with breathalyzers on certain holidays.

DUI vs. DWI:

In the state of Maryland, you can have a BAC (blood alcohol content) between .04-.08% if you are of legal drinking age while driving. There is a difference between DUI and DWI when it comes to punishment. A DUI or driving under the influence includes anyone under the age of 21 that has any alcohol in their system, which is illegal. DWI or driving while intoxicated refers to someone of legal drinking age have a BAC over .08%, which would make them hazardous to others if they drove. Someone under 21 can also get a DWI if their BAC is over .08% as well.


In Maryland the changes for a DWI is less than a DUI because of there is supposedly less risk or negligence on the driver’s part. Your first offense can be 1 year for a DUI and 2 months for a DWI, fines between $500-1,000 and a minimum of 6 months license suspension. According to the CDC, Maryland is slightly above the national average of the number of people driving after drinking too much.

Steps to Prevent Drinking and Driving:

Maryland is one of the states that allows sobriety checkpoints throughout certain areas of the state. According to Maryland’s Department of Transportation, Maryland is now offering the option of having ignition interlock devices for all drivers to opt-in to. This is a new option for those caught drunk driving, where they would be able to keep their license without having an administrative hearing. These programs are in place to help prevent future car accidents.

If you have been in a car accident in the Baltimore, Maryland area, contact the Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers to be your Baltimore car accident lawyer!