Driving Under the Influence with a Child in the Car
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in Maryland that should never be handled on your own. The help of an experienced criminal defense attorney should always be sought when facing a DUI charge. The crime becomes even more serious when you are charged for driving under the influence with a child in the car. This is what’s known as DUI with a minor and can be considered child endangerment. Let’s take a look at the penalties associated with this crime.
What is a DUI with a Minor?
A DUI with a minor in the car is when you are charged with having a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher and there is a passenger in your car who is under the age of 18. It doesn’t matter if the passenger is a newborn baby or a 17-year-old; if there are passengers under the age of 18 in your car at the time of a DUI traffic stop, you will be charged with the crime of DUI with a minor.
Penalties for DUI with a Child
First and foremost, drunk driving is against the law in Maryland. In order to be charged for DUI under Maryland laws, you must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher or 0.04 or higher as a commercial driver. If you are under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.02 will result in a DUI charge. Maryland also has driving while intoxicated charge (DWI) that has a legal limit of 0.07. The penalties for DUI with a child in the car are as follows in Maryland:
- 1st DUI with a minor: no more than two years in prison and a fine of no more than $2,000
- 2nd DUI with a minor: no more than three years in prison and a fine of no more than $3,000
- 3rd or subsequent DUI with a minor: no more than four years in prison and a fine of no more than $4,000
- 1st DWI with a minor: no more than six months in prison and a fine of no more than $1,000
- 2nd or subsequent DWI with a minor: no more than one year in prison and a fine of no more than $2,000
The administrative penalties associated with DUI in Maryland are also strict. The state assesses a total of 12 points for DUI and 8 points for DWI. Licenses in Maryland are suspended when they accrue anywhere from 8-11 points. Licenses in Maryland are revoked when they accrue 12 or more points. This means that even a first-time DUI offender will have their license taken away for a specific period. The same can be said if charged for DUI with a minor in the vehicle. According to Maryland law, the longest you can be without your license is a total of 18 months and this most often comes with a third or subsequent DUI charge.
What Can You Argue in a DUI with a Minor Case?
When faced with a charge of DUI with a minor in the car, it is nearly impossible to argue that there was not a minor present in the car when you were stopped for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Instead, an experienced criminal defense attorney will argue one or more of the following in such a case (depending on the circumstances):
- Examine the validity of the traffic stop
- Was there probable cause?
- Was the officer properly trained to administer a breathalyzer test?
- Was the device calibrated properly?
- Were the roadside tests administered correctly?
- Was a blood test conducted?
- Was the proper chain of command followed with blood test results?
- What was the conduct of the arresting officer?
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Have you been arrested and charged for DUI with a child in the car? This is a serious charge levied against you that cannot be ignored. It is in your best interest to call an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the laws of Maryland. Call the office of Jonathan Fellner, Attorney at Law, to schedule your consultation at our Rockville location at 301-309-2000. Our team will fight to have your charges reduced or dropped so you can get your life back on track.
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