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Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense: Crimes Involving Drunk Driving And Minors

In Waldorf, Maryland, it is a crime to drive while under the influence of alcohol (“DUI”). The legal age for drinking in Maryland is 21 years old. As such, there are separate criminal statutory sections if you are caught drunk driving in Charles County, Maryland, when you are under 21. The punishments are less severe than for adults, but the punishments are serious and can be used as sentencing enhancements if there are convictions in the future. There are also criminal statutes if you are drunk driving (at any age) and there are minors — those under the age of 18 — in your vehicle at the time you are arrested. If you are arrested and charged with drunk driving as a minor or with minors in your vehicle, you need to contact tough and relentless Maryland criminal defense lawyers like the ones at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301) 705-5137. We are available 24/7.

DUI as a Minor

For adults, there is a presumption that a person is driving while intoxicated if the person’s blood alcohol percentage (“BAC”) is 0.08% or higher. However, for minors, this presumption is much lower. A minor is considered to be drunk and driving with just an 0.02% BAC. The penalties for a first-time offense will be considered a misdemeanor conviction with a sentence of community punishment — usually about 20 hours — along with a six-month suspension of driving privileges. If the minor was driving with an adult BAC — that is, 0.08% or higher — driving privileges are suspended for a year, and community service will generally be doubled. Punishments will be increased for second and subsequent offenses.

DUI With Minors in the Vehicle

As noted, Maryland criminal laws make it a much more serious crime if a person is DUI and there are minors in the vehicle at the time. For purposes of these crimes, a minor is anyone under the age of 18. Essentially, the presence of a minor (or minors) in the vehicle will be considered an aggravating factor, raising the level of the crime and, basically, doubling the DUI penalties. The potential penalties are:

  • First offense DUI with a minor in the vehicle — up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 (without a minor in the vehicle, these potential penalties would be halved)
  • Second offense — up to three years in jail and up to $3,000 in fines
  • Third offense — up to four years in jail and up to $4,000 in fines

The potential penalties are greatly increased for fourth and subsequent offenses. Note that in addition to these penalties, there will be points assessed against a person’s driver’s license, suspension of driving privileges, possible mandatory use of ignition interlock devices, and, often, imposition of mandatory attendance at alcohol treatment and substance abuse programs.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301) 705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD, Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD, 20601.