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Maryland DUI Laws




In the state of Maryland, the crime of drunk driving is referred to as “Driving while under the influence of alcohol” (DUI), “Driving while under the influence of alcohol per se” (DUI PER SE), “Driving while impaired by alcohol” (DWI), or “Driving while impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, or while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance” (DWI DRUG IMPAIRMENT).

MD DUI / DWI definitions

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF AND WHILE IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL – A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL PER SE – A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while the person is under the influence of alcohol per se. “Under the influence of alcohol per se” means having an alcohol concentration at the time of testing of 0.08 or more as measured by grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

DUI/DWI WITH MINOR PASSENGER – Persons who are arrested for drunk driving will face additional charges and penalties if they were transporting a minor passenger in the vehicle at the time of the alleged DUI offense.

DWI – A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while impaired by alcohol.

DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY DRUGS, OR DRUGS AND ALCOHOL – A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while he is so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that he cannot drive a vehicle safely. It is not a defense to any charge that the person charged is or was entitled to use the drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, unless the person was unaware that the drug or combination would make the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle.

DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES – A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while the person is impaired by any controlled dangerous substance, if the person is not entitled to use the controlled dangerous substance under the laws of the state of Maryland.

DRIVING AFTER DUI/DWI ARREST - An arrestee may not drive a motor vehicle within 12 hours after the arrestee’s arrest for any DUI/DWI violation.

LIFE-THREATENING INJURY BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE – A person may not cause a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while the person is: (i) under the influence of alcohol; or (ii) under the influence of alcohol per se.

LIFE-THREATENING INJURY BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL – A person may not cause a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while the person is impaired by alcohol.

LIFE-THREATENING INJURY BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE IMPAIRED BY DRUGS – A person may not cause a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while the person is so far impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person cannot drive, operate, or control a motor vehicle or vessel safely.

LIFE-THREATENING INJURY BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE IMPAIRED BY A CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE – (does not apply to a person who is entitled to use the controlled dangerous substance under the laws of the State) – A person may not cause a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while the person is impaired by a controlled dangerous substance.

HOMICIDE BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR ALCOHOL PER SE – A person may not cause the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while: (1) under the influence of alcohol; or (2) under the influence of alcohol per se.

HOMICIDE BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL
– A person may not cause the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by alcohol.

HOMICIDE BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE IMPAIRED BY DRUGS
- A person may not cause the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while the person is so far impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person cannot drive, operate, or control a motor vehicle or vessel safely. It is not a defense to a charge of violating this section that the person is or was entitled under the laws of this State to use a drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, unless the person was unaware that the drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol would make the person incapable of driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel in a safe manner.

HOMICIDE BY MOTOR VEHICLE OR VESSEL WHILE IMPAIRED BY A CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE – A person may not cause the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel while the person is impaired by a controlled dangerous substance. This section does not apply to a person who is entitled to use the controlled dangerous substance under the laws of this State.

ZERO TOLERANCE LAW – Minors under the age of 21 are prohibited from operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Minors with a BAC of .02 or higher will be charged with a violation of their license restriction.

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