According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Maryland had 162 drunk driving-related fatalities in 2011, making up 33 percent of total traffic deaths that year. The state also has a high repeat offender rate with 25,120 third-time offenders and nearly 4,000 fifth-time offenders in the past year. Though the state improved its drunk driving law in 2011 by requiring ignition interlocks for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher and all repeat offenders, MADD believes that Maryland could see a significant decrease in drunk driving-related fatalities if it extended the interlock law to include all drunk drivers.
Anyone who operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Consequences include a fine, jail time, driver’s license revocation, and, for second and subsequent offenses, alcohol rehabilitation or treatment.
- 1st Conviction: up to $1,000 fine; up to 1 year in jail; 6-month license revocation
- 2nd Conviction: up to $2,000 fine; up to 2 years in jail; 1-year license revocation
- 3rd and Subsequent Convictions: up to $3,000 fine; up to 3 years in jail; 18-month license revocation
Drunk drivers with four or more convictions will have their license revoked for 2 years.
If the drunk driver committed the offense while a minor was in the vehicle, the fine amount and jail time increase by $1,000 and 1 year. If the offense results in the death of another person, the fine and jail time increase to up to $5,000 and up to 5 years.
The legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 is 0.02. Consequences include license suspension for up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $500 after a first offense and loss of license until the age of 21 and/or a $500 fine after a second or subsequent offense.
Ignition Interlock Law
First-time offenders with a BAC of 0.15 or higher at the time of the offense must install an ignition interlock for at least one year. All repeat offenders are required to install the device for 1 to 3 years. Maryland also has an ignition interlock program that allows convicted drunk drivers to reduce their driver’s license suspension period by installing an ignition interlock device for 1 year.