Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to DUI offenses. Alcohol related driving offenses are extremely common, but also very complex in nature. At Monteiro Law, LLC, we understand the complexities of the legal system and are dedicated to providing an experienced and aggressive defense to those charged with DUI and DWI on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Understanding DUI Laws

First let’s delve into the nuances of DUI laws specific to the State of Maryland. What are DUI’s and DWI’s? In Maryland, DUI refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that it substantially impairs the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. This can be proven circumstantially. There is also DUI per se. This is when an operator of vehicle has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% for drivers aged 21 and older. For drivers under the age of 21, any measurable amount of alcohol in their system can result in charges.

A DWI charge in Maryland applies when a driver operates a motor vehicle with a BAC between 0.04% and 0.07%, or if their driving is impaired by alcohol or drugs to any degree that affects their ability to drive safely. DWI is considered a lesser offense compared to DUI, but it still carries significant penalties.

DUI's on the Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore of Maryland, known for its picturesque landscapes and charming communities, follows the same DUI laws as the rest of the state. However, it’s essential to understand how these laws might be enforced and the local factors that could influence their application.

The Eastern Shore attracts a significant number of tourists, especially during the summer months. As a result, law enforcement is particularly vigilant in enforcing DUI laws to maintain safety on the roads when the region, especially Ocean City, experiences an influx of visitors. Year after year, Worcester and Wicomico Counties boast some of, if not the highest, DUI and DWI conviction rates in the entire State of Maryland. Don’t believe me? Click this link to read more.

Law enforcement and prosecutors have a ton of experience in charging, trying, and convicting alcohol impaired drivers. The Ocean City police department, for example, has a dedicated traffic unit.

These are officers who are expertly trained in investigating and evaluating suspected impaired drivers. Both counties have a zero tolerance policy. That means if you are arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, the likelihood you will be prosecuted for an offense is extremely high.

This means the best strategy for avoiding arrest and charges is to avoid drinking and driving at all costs. Sounds simple enough right? Yet, hundreds of motorists make that mistake time and time again.

The Eastern Shore attracts a significant number of tourists, especially during the summer months. As a result, law enforcement is particularly vigilant in enforcing DUI laws to maintain safety on the roads when the region, especially Ocean City, experiences an influx of visitors.

Avoid at all cost

Thankfully, there are numerous alternatives and strategies to ensure you stay safe and responsible when it comes to alcohol consumption and driving. In this blog, we’ll outline ten essential tips to help you avoid drinking and driving and make responsible choices.

  1. Designated Driver: Before you head out for a night of drinking, designate a responsible driver who will remain sober and ensure everyone gets home safely. Rotate this role among your friends to share the responsibility.
  2. Use Public Transportation: Utilize public transportation such as buses, trains, or subways to get to and from your destination. Public transport is a reliable option that removes the need for you to drive after consuming alcohol.
  3. Ridesharing Services: Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft provide a convenient and safe option to get home if you’ve been drinking. Keep these apps installed on your phone and use them whenever you’re not in a condition to drive.
  4. Stay Overnight: If you’re attending an event where alcohol will be served, consider staying overnight if possible. This eliminates any pressure to drive while intoxicated and allows you to fully enjoy the event without worry.
  5. Plan Ahead: Plan your transportation before you start drinking. Make arrangements for a ride home or have a backup plan in case your original plan falls through.
  6. Host Responsibility: If you’re hosting a gathering with alcohol, take responsibility for your guests’ safety. Offer non-alcoholic options and encourage them to use designated drivers or ridesharing services.
  7. Alcohol-Free Events: Seek out and attend alcohol-free events and activities. This not only ensures you won’t be tempted to drink and drive but also helps you enjoy yourself without relying on alcohol.
  8. Hydration and Food: If you’re drinking, consume water and eat food throughout the evening. This helps slow down the absorption of alcohol and can reduce its effects on your body.
  9. Recognize Limits: Understand your own alcohol tolerance and know when to stop drinking. Don’t let others pressure you into drinking more than you’re comfortable with.
  10. Educate Others: Share the importance of not drinking and driving with friends and family. Encourage them to make responsible choices and support each other in finding safe ways to get home.

Eastern crime needs an Eastern Shore defense

While the laws regarding DUI and DWI are the same across the State, each county and city in Maryland deal with them differently. Prosecution and sentencing for DUI offenses can vary greatly based on the jurisdiction. Factors such as the judge’s discretion, prior criminal record, and the specifics of the case can influence the severity of the punishment. Being aware of the potential consequences in a particular LOCAL jurisdiction is essential for anyone facing a DUI charge.

If you are not from the Eastern Shore hiring a lawyer from your hometown or from another county close by might not seem like a bad idea. However, there is nothing worse than paying a small fortune for a hot shot attorney only to find out that he or she has no clue what the potential sentence for a first or second time DUI is going to be in Salisbury or Ocean City… or anywhere on the shore! Why? Because they don’t know the sentencing habits of the judges. Or, the local rules of procedure. Or, the temperaments of the prosecutors or the strength and weaknesses of the police agencies investigations. These are all things that a LOCAL attorney can help you with.

What can Monteiro Law do for you?

Jared Monteiro — that’s me — is a former prosecutor with over a decade of criminal and DUI experience on the Eastern Shore. I was a prosecutor in both Wicomico County and Worcester County. I have personally prosecuted countless DUI and DWIs in both jurisdictions. I know how the Courts down here operate. I know how the police agencies operate. 

I can help you craft the best possible defense to your DUI and DWI charges. I can identify weaknesses in the State’s case. Identify any constitutional search and seizure violations that could lead to the suppression of evidence against you. I can assist in negotiating the best possible plea deal. And, if the matter cannot favorably be resolved, my extensive trial experience will help you fight tooth and nail to protect your rights and have the best possible outcome.