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The hidden costs of a DUI conviction in Maryland

Penalties associated with a DUI conviction in Maryland are harsh. The jailtime, probation, fines, restitution and loss of driver’s license can be costly. But, there are also expected penalties many people may not realize that go in tandem with a DUI conviction. Some may come as a surprise and linger far longer than any fine or jail time served.

Below is a list of the most common hidden costs associated with a DUI conviction:

Job loss

Many employers today conduct background checks on applicants. Despite stellar qualifications, many employers will refuse to provide an applicant an interview if they see a DUI conviction on a criminal record. For those already employed, certain employers in certain fields may even terminate an employee’s job for this type of offense.

High auto insurance premiums

It’s not uncommon for those with a DUI conviction to see steep auto insurance rates in Maryland – even for fist-time offenders. Insurance carriers will not hesitate to hike rates up astronomically for those who have a DUI conviction, regardless of the type of vehicle or past driving record.

Ignition interlock devices

The state of Maryland utilizes an ignition interlock program for certain drunk driving offenders allowed to operate a vehicle after a conviction. A device is installed on the driver’s vehicle. When the driver wishes to drive the car, he or she must blow air into it. If the device measures a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.025, the vehicle will not start.

Aside from the inconvenience, drivers are required to pay costs associated with an IID.

Enrollment in rehabilitation programs

In some cases, the court or even employers may require those with a DUI conviction to partake in a substance abuse treatment program. Such programs are often costly with the expense passed on to the driver.\

Wait, before doing anything

Many drivers can do without paying fines, jail time and all of the other hidden costs associated with a DUI. As such, those facing any type of drunk driving charge should seek the guidance of a criminal defense attorney before pleading guilty or agreeing to anything. A criminal defense lawyer can assess the situation and, depending on the circumstances, get the charges reduced or dismissed.