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Important facts for those accused of drunk driving

Drunk driving stops happen because an officer has probable cause to think that a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The officer can then interview the driver, conduct roadside tests and use devices like a Breathalyzer to check and see if the driver is impaired. If this happens to you and you are accused of driving under the influence, here are a few things you should know:

1. The legal limit for alcohol is a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08. In fact, even if you argue that your driving was not any worse because you were over that limit, you could still well be charged with DUI.

2. If convicted, in addition to fines and other legal penalties, you may have to deal with higher insurance rates. This is a related cost that it's worth factoring in when trying to determine what a DUI conviction will cost you. Increased rates come from the fact that the insurance company now looks at you as a high risk.

3. Drugs can trigger an arrest, just like alcohol. These could be illegal or legal drugs.

4. If you are convicted, your sentence could have a few different components. You could be fined, you could lose your license, and you could have to serve a jail term. You may be sent to a treatment program, especially to have your license reinstated. When all of this ends up on your record, it could impact other areas of your life -- like your ability to get certain jobs.

As you can see, a drunk driving conviction is nothing to take lightly in Maryland. Make sure you know your rights and defense options.

Source: Quote Wizard, "11 Things You Need to Know if You Get a DWI, DUI, or OUI," Bryan Ochalla, accessed Aug. 08, 2016

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