Maryland is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a major center for life sciences research and development, with over 350 biotechnology companies located in the state. Government agencies and institutions located in Maryland include Johns Hopkins University, the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Mental Health, United States Census Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration and Human Genome Sciences, among many others.

Many well known people were born in Maryland, including actor David Hasselhoff, radio talk show host Montel Williams, civil rights activist Harriet Tubman, and author Tom Clancy, just to name a few.

There are 24 counties or county equivalents in Maryland. The most populous counties are Montgomery, Prince George and Baltimore, each having nearly one million residents within its borders.

Maryland has a state run lottery that brought in $519 in revenue for FY 2011. Lottery revenue grew for the 14th year in a row. Those numbers don't include $50 million from the state's slot machine gambling program, which launched with the opening of two casinos in the past year. Money generated by the casinos is set aside in a special fund for education spending.

Maryland boasts the lowest poverty rate in the nation, at 7.5%. Personal income per capita is the 5th in the nation. Despite these favorable statistics, folks in Maryland still have their troubles, including occasional brushes with the law. The state imprisonment rate is 382 per 100,000 residents, compared to the national rate of 502.

Maryland law differentiates between DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence). DWI is more severe than DUI. DWI means, among other things, that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at a level of .08% or higher. If you receive a first time DWI in Maryland, you will instantly have your drivers' license revoked. You will also be fined $1000. A second offense will raise your fine to $2000.

Although DUI is less severe under Maryland law, it is still a serious offense. You will be charged with a DUI if you are caught driving with a BAC between .04% and .07%. If convicted, you will receive 8 points on your license (12 points and it is revoked). On a first DUI offense, expect to pay a fine of $500. You can be sentenced to jail time for either a DWI or a DUI. If you have a minor in your car while driving under the influence, expect your punishment to become much more severe.

Strange Maryland Laws
It makes sense that driving while drunk is against Maryland law, but the state also has some laws on the books that aren't quite as logical. For example, it is illegal to grow thistles in your yard. In Baltimore it's a violation to wear a sleeveless shirt while in the park.

One law that is logical but seems unnecessary is the one that says it is illegal in Baltimore to take a lion to a movie. Watch your language, because it is also against the law to curse inside Baltimore city limits. What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks?

Maryland Jails