Saint Patrick’s day should be a fun time to celebrate with friends and family, however drinking excess can be very dangerous. As a personal injury law firm we see too many people injured by people who operate motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol. If you are going to drink remember to do so responsibly and to use a designated driver instead of risking driving under the influence. Or plan to utilize rideshare services like Uber or Lyft if you are expecting to drink. Not driving after you drink is the best way to avoid DWIs and DUIs.
Drunk driving is an extremely dangerous and careless choice to make as a driver. It is one of the few violent crimes in which the offenders have hurt or killed people with whom they never interacted.
The unfortunate truth is that statistics show that a Marylander is killed by a drunk driver every 58 hours. The Maryland State Police and local law enforcement agencies are especially looking to keep the roads safe during holidays known for drinking. Although driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are often used interchangeably, they are legally two different types of drunk driving – at least in Maryland. A DUI means a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher. DWI is a “lesser” crime, when a driver has a BAC level of .07 percent. However, both are very dangerous.
As a driver in Maryland, it’s important to understand the difference between a DUI and a DWI. If you’re under 21 or a commercial driver, you’re held to an even higher standard. Penalties for a DUI or DWI can include fines in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, as well as possible jail time. If you have children in the car, the penalties are even higher.
Underage drinking invokes Maryland’s “zero-tolerance” policy, under which a driver below 21 with a BAC level of .02 percent or higher gets a DUI. Commercial drivers are also held to a higher standard, getting a DUI with a BAC level of .04 percent or higher.
Zero-tolerance policies are a common way of dealing with underage drinking and driving. These policies set a threshold for the amount of alcohol in a person’s system that is considered too high to drive. A driver found to be over this limit will likely face penalties, such as a DUI or DWI conviction.
Victims of drunk driving, or the loved ones of those killed by the crime, may seek legal representation to ensure their voices are heard in the sentencing process and seek financial damages. If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident contact the drunk driving injury lawyers of Malloy Law Offices, LLC today.