Is Ignition Interlock Mandatory for a Maryland DWI?

Must a Judge Order the One-Year Interlock for the Lesser Offense?

is-ignition-interlock-mandatory-for-a-maryland-dwiIn Maryland, unlike many states, the terms DUI and DWI are not interchangeable. Driving under the influence (DUI) typically requires a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, whereas the lesser offense of driving while impaired (DWI) can be charged if a person’s BAC is .07 or higher. Under Maryland law, any person convicted of DUI must have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicle for a period of one year. The ignition interlock is not mandatory for a DWI, with limited exceptions. That does not mean, though, that a judge may not order the interlock. While the Maryland statute does not mandate an ignition interlock, a judge will still have the discretionary power to order it.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of men and women in Maryland for more than 40 years, including people charged under Maryland law with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of or while impaired by alcohol or drugs. SuperLawyers has rated him as one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also listed him as a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan Scott Smith has carried an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than three decades, a testament from his colleagues in the legal profession. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, an award held by less than 4% of all attorneys nationwide. He carries a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A highly regarded trial attorney, Jonathan has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Maryland criminal law and procedure. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Contact an Aggressive Baltimore County Criminal Defense Attorney

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we aggressively advocate for criminal defendants throughout the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland, including people charged with any type of child abuse. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101