Alert: State Legislature Stiffens Penalties for DUI and Underage Drinking Offenses

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Starting October 1st, the State of Maryland will begin to impose new penalties against DUI and underage drinking offenders.The new DUI penalties are aimed at levying heavier punishment against repeat drunk driving offenders.  Specifically, any individual who is convicted of driving while impaired for a second time within a period of 5 years will be subjected to a mandatory 1 year suspension of their license.  The legislature has also increased what is referred to as the 'look back' period for repeat offenders.  In the past, Maryland Courts would consider a jail sentence in lieu of probation for any offender who had a prior DUI conviction over the past 5 years.  Under the new legislation, however, the 'look back' period has extended review for a prior DUI conviction to the past 10 years.

The State legislature has also imposed new penalties for violators of underage drinking laws.  The heaviest penalties under the new laws are saved for those who supply alcohol to individuals under the age of 21.  People convicted of unlawfully supplying alcohol to minors under the age of 21 will face a possible fine of up to $2,500.  Minors convicted of consuming alcohol when under the age of 21 face a possible fine of up to $500.

Those that have been charged with a DUI or underage drinking offense need to be aware that a more serious punishment awaits them if convicted.  The law firm of Portner & Shure has experience in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and can help if you have been charged with an alcohol-related offense. 

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