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Don't let a DWI or DUI ruin your holiday celebrations

With the holiday season here, parties abound in our area. Some of these parties have alcohol, so people who are going to drink must ensure that they have a plan to get home when the festivities are finished. As many Maryland residents know, police presence around the holiday season is sometimes increased. This means that taking a chance trying to make it home on your own after drinking isn't really a good idea.

Being caught drinking and driving has harsh penalties. The penalties for drunk driving depend on a variety of factors. One of those factors is what charge you are facing.

If your blood alcohol content is .07, you might be charged with a DWI. A DWI results in eight points being added against your license. The same is true if you fail a field sobriety test and the officer decides to charge you with a DWI.

If your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you will be charged with a DUI. This adds 12 points against your license, which instantly revokes your driving privileges. That is only the beginning of the story when you are facing a DUI.

On top of losing your driving privileges, you will also face fines and possible jail time. The fine for a DWI starts at $500, and the fine for a DUI starts at $1,000.

The best defense against drunk driving charges is actually preventing the charges by not driving after drinking alcohol this holiday season. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI, you should learn about your rights to present a defense.

Source: DMV.org, "DUI & DWI in Maryland" Dec. 16, 2014

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