Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) is a crime that provides for penalties of incarceration, and if convicted as a second or subsequent offender the maximum amount of incarceration can be increased. In addition, Maryland provides for possible incarceration of up to 60 days for refusal to submit to a breath or blood test in certain circumstances. If a person who is licensed to drive by a State other than Maryland is convicted of driving under the influence in a Maryland Court, the Interstate Compact Agreement provides for the transfer of that conviction to the home licensing State. The result could be the suspension or revocation of the license in the home state of the licensee. Every state has unique laws in this regard. If the Court grants probation before judgment, removing the conviction from the record, there is no conviction to be forwarded to the other State. If the person is a Maryland licensee, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will seek a suspension or revocation if there is a conviction and if probation before judgment is not granted.

In addition to possible criminal penalties of incarceration and fines, the person charged can also be subject to administrative license suspensions for refusal to submit to a breath or blood test or for submitting to a breath or blood test with a result of .08 or more. A test result of .07 or more creates a prima facie case (presumption) that the person is impaired by alcohol. Driving while impaired also is punishable by possible incarceration. A test result of .08 or more is by law considered under the influence of alcohol per se, which carries up to one year in jail for first offense.

In addition to criminal penalties including incarceration in county jails or state prison, significant other life changing effects of drunk driving charges include revocation or suspension of driver licenses, which can and does often end in loss of employment and other life altering consequences. The law on drunk driving in Maryland changes almost every year and dealing with the complexities of the law in this area requires a highly experienced lawyer. Defense of such charges requires an intimate knowledge of the facts in each case and the law of evidence in Maryland Courts. This includes allegations in administrative hearings of refusal to take a breath or blood test or failing a breath or blood test.

M. Dean Jenkins has successfully defended charges of homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, where expert witness testimony from an accident reconstructionist was critical to the Defense.

In many cases the outcome will depend on pretrial motions filed and litigated regarding the legality of the police conduct and police investigation of the case. You will need a lawyer with experience and dedication who will thoroughly prepare your case. That is the key to a successful defense. In some cases, negotiations can be made to achieve an acceptable outcome.

The most important decision you will have to make if facing these charges is the choice of the lawyer to represent you in these very difficult and complex cases.

In 1986 Mr. Jenkins represented a client who, although convicted in a jury trial of driving while intoxicated by alcohol, was fount not guilty by the jury of all death charges, including homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated and homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The client was not incarcerated but sentenced to a fine and probation.

Located in the Law Offices of
Ayres, Jenkins, Gordy & Almand, P.A.

If you are accused of a criminal offense, or, if you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, by far the most important decision you will make is the selection of the lawyer to represent you.

- M. Dean Jenkins -