What’s the Difference Between DUI & DWI?

Maryland, like many other states, has a “two-tiered” drunk driving statute. The statute prohibits driving at a higher and a lower degree of impairment. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the more serious offense and is outlined under Maryland Transportation Article § 21-902 (a)(1)(i). DUI is a misdeamenor and carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a $1000 fine for first time offenders. In addition, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) can assess 12 points and revoke your driver’s license or privilege to drive in Maryland if you are convicted of DUI.

The less serious offense is Driving While Impaired (DWI). Maryland’s DWI statute is codified under Maryland Transportation Article § 21-902 (b). DWI is also considered a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. The MVA can assess 8 points and suspend your driver’s license or driving privilege. It’s important to know that for second or subsequent violations of DUI or DWI, the maximum penalties increase.

While DUI and DWI are classified as misdemeanors the effect of a conviction can create a bevy of additional consequences in your life. If you are convicted of DUI or DWI you could face consequences related to your military career, immigration status, security clearance, commercial driver’s license, pilot’s license or professioanl license. If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI you should consult with a Maryland DUI Defense attorney now to learn your options and next steps.