The legal drinking age in Maryland is 21, same as in other states. Under age DUI in Maryland is treated seriously in most if not all cases and the State has zero tolerance for drinking under the age of 21. Zero tolerance means that no person under the age of 21 is legally allowed to drink any amount of alcohol before operating a motor vehicle. Underage DUI in Maryland faces relatively the same legal consequences as the regular DUI perpetrators, but could also get additional administrative sanctions and restrictions with the MVA. This type of behavior is not treated lightly and is very much unacceptable, as they are still minors, yet they have already committed and broke State Laws. The possible legal consequences are summarized as follows:
- Younger than 21 to at least 18 years old, the DUI case will be handled in criminal court just like any other regular DUI case.
- Younger than 18 years old, the DUI case will be handled in juvenile court.
- Subject to suspension, revocation, or restriction of their driving privilege or driver’s license.
- Possible reduced charges and negotiation on Probation before Judgment (PBJ) could be done by legal counsel.
This is why Maryland DUI laws under the age of 21 are harsh and strictly implemented. Police officers have heightened their presence around areas known to have rampant underage drinking, with not just the local police but state troopers and DUI local enforcement working hand in hand to combat this problem. College and Universities seem to have a great deal of underage drinkers especially in areas near bars. Close monitoring has been done by local enforcement so that underage DUI in Maryland can be minimized—if not completely stopped.
Getting arrested for DUI Under 21 in Maryland can be a long, tedious process. It is best that you consult with an expert DUI lawyer that specializes in DUI under the age of 21. The lawyer in charge of the defense can have the person take an alcohol assessment test with a licensed professional. Attendance in an alcohol education program for 12, 26, or 48 weeks, can most likely be called for to the person charged with underage DUI in Maryland. This will show that the person is serious about the drinking issues and DUI charges.
Although legal consequences may be the same with underage DUI in Maryland compared to the regular DUI charges with older people, defense lawyers seem to address the problems differently. Treatment is their primary goal after one has been assessed. Many facilities have therapists that do one-on-one treatment, and some may need additional classes when referred by a professional. The primary concern is to shape the person’s mind and make them realize that they broke a number of laws when they decided to go drink and drive, and effectively coach them so they can be trusted to move forward with their lives and not commit the same offense again.