|By PR Newswire||
|September 20, 2012 08:03 PM EDT||
ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Maryland's drunk driving laws are as strict as they are complicated and they have changed from .08 says Drew Cochran, from the Annapolis law firm Drew Cochran Law.
Gill Andrew Cochran "Drew," Esq., founder of Drew Cochran Law, is an aggressive Annapolis defense attorney. Drew Cochran Law is an Annapolis criminal law firm devoted to the passionate legal representation of individuals accused of wrongdoing. The firm is proud to represent a diverse client base ranging from blue-collar workers, to business professionals, to students and young adults.
Mr. Cochran, an Annapolis attorney who represents those accused with a DWI or DUI, explains when the legal driving limit is .08 and when it's not.
"Both Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) refer to the illegal act of driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs," says Mr. Cochran, who's tried hundreds of DUI and DWI cases. "The difference lies in what the letters mean. DUI designates driving under the influence, while DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. While they may sound identical on the surface, they are charged as separate crimes."
Both offenses can have a serious impact on a drivers' personal and work life. That's why it's so important to understand the law, your rights and your legal options when facing charges, Mr. Cochran added.
In Maryland, Mr. Cochran explains, a driver can be convicted of a DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A driver can be convicted of a DWI if he or she has a .07 BAC, or if the driver appears intoxicated at the time of their arrest.
"A DUI conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine," said Mr. Cochran. "A DWI conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Both the jail time and the fines will double on your second conviction."
Drivers also face suspension of their driver's license by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The length of the suspension will depend on the BAC and whether the driver refused a Breathalyzer test.
"If your BAC was .15 or higher, the only way you will be able to drive for the next year will be with an ignition interlock device installed on your car," Mr. Cochran said. "It's important to remember that the legal limits have changed and know that just two drinks can lead to the legal definition of impairment."
Here are tips on how to approximate whether you are approaching the legal limit based on your weight, how much you have had to drink, and how long you have been drinking:
- If you are around 100 lbs., you can generally only have about one serving of alcohol before being over 0.08
- However, a person is closer to 160 lbs. can have about 3 servings of alcohol and still be below the legal limit for driving
- A good rule of thumb to use is that no matter what your weight is, if you have had three servings of alcohol in rapid succession you are most likely over the legal limit for blood alcohol level when driving.
- Your blood alcohol level will also depend on how much time you have spent drinking. If you have a spaced your drinks out over a lengthy period of time, such as the span of a few hours, your blood alcohol level is going to be significantly lower than if you had the same amount of drinks in the span of one hour.
"Keep in mind the amount of alcohol that constitutes 1 serving differs depending on the type of drink," said Mr. Cochran. "For example, 12 oz. of hard liquor is a far greater amount of alcohol than 12 oz. of beer, and as a result will have a much greater impact on your blood alcohol level."
"Generally, the rule is 1 serving of alcohol is equal to 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor, a 12 oz. beer, or 4 oz. of table wine," he said.
Drew Cochran Law is an aggressive criminal defense law firm, with years of experience working on the front lines of the criminal justice system. The firm's success hinges on Gill "Drew" Cochran's extraordinarily thorough review of evidence and his skill in trial litigation.
Clients know that Drew Cochran fights hard, a reputation that surrounds each case and often creates outstanding resolution opportunities. For more information, please call 410-271-1892 today or visit us on the web at www.annapolisattorneymd.com.
SOURCE Drew Cochran Law