Maryland’s Drunk Driving Laws—An Introduction

What Is the Difference between DUI and DWI?

the-penalties-for-drunk-driving-in-marylandLike all other states, Maryland takes a serious approach to drinking and driving. Under state law in Maryland, a person may face either a DUI (driving under the influence) charge or a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge if convicted of drunk driving.

What Is the Difference between a DUI and a DWI in Maryland?

In Maryland, a DUI is the greater offense of the two. You can be charged and convicted of driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 8% or higher. You can also be charged and convicted if it can be proven in court that you were driving while substantially impaired by either alcohol or drugs.

You can face charges for driving while intoxicated in Maryland if your BAC is 7% or greater, but less than 8%. There must also be evidence that your driving was affected by your level of intoxication.

It’s important to understand that you can be charged with either a DWI or a DUI in Maryland, even if your vehicle is not traveling along the road. The statute allows you to be prosecuted if you were in “actual control” of the vehicle. Accordingly, you may be charged with drunk driving while sleeping in a running vehicle or while having the motor running while in a parked car.

Experienced Prince George’s County Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than three decades of experience to persons facing criminal prosecution in Maryland, including people charged with drinking and driving. SuperLawyers has listed him as one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also named him a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Attorney Smith has held an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than three decades. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, an accolade earned 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 experienced trial lawyer, 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 a Results-Oriented DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer in Maryland

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. 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