It’s important to respect the law in your state of residence, and when traveling to other states, you must obey the law. If you find yourself in legal trouble, you may need to contact a Maryland criminal defense attorney to advise you of your rights and possible penalties for your offense(s). Like some other states, Maryland has both “wet” and “dry” counties; wet counties allow for alcohol sales and consumption while dry counties do not. Be sure you know your county’s laws regarding alcohol sale and consumption before participating in either of these.
Purchase and Sale of Alcohol in Maryland
People can buy alcohol at retail establishments between the hours of 6:00 and 1:00 a.m. while bars and restaurants in wet counties are legally allowed to serve alcohol from 9:00 am to 1:00 am Monday through Thursday; Friday and Saturday between 9:00 and 2:00 a.m.; and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. In Maryland, the sale of alcohol is not controlled by the state, so individual cities have the authority to shorten the length of time alcohol is sold. Some convenience stores in Maryland are licensed to sell beer but not grocery stores or gas stations.
Open Containers in Maryland
In Maryland, you may not have an open container of alcohol in your motor vehicle in the driver’s seat, passenger seat or back seat. Any and all open containers must be kept in the trunk of your car while the car is being driven. If you leave a party and have an open bottle of wine or hard liquor, it must have the cap on and be safely stored in the trunk of the vehicle.
DUI in Maryland
If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher, or if you refuse law enforcement’s request to submit to a chemical test to measure alcohol, you will be issued an Order of Suspension) along with your DUI citation. Law enforcement in Maryland will confiscate your driver’s license and may issue you a 45-day temporary paper license.
Here are the DUI penalties in Maryland:
- $1,000 fine
- Up to one year in jail
- 12 points
- Your license may be revoked for up to six months
For a second DUI offense, you may face the following:
- $2,000 fine
- Up to two years in jail (with a mandatory minimum of five days).
- 12 points
- Driver’s license may be revoked for up to one year
For two convictions within five years, a mandatory period of suspension will be followed by a minimum required period of participation in the Ignition Interlock Program, and you may be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.
For third and subsequent convictions, the penalties become more severe.
If you have been charged with an alcohol-related offense in Maryland, you should consult with a Maryland criminal defense attorney.