Face Fewer Drunk Driving Arrests in Maryland, but Consequences Steeper
Drunk driving arrests are down in Maryland. In 2007, the Maryland Department of Transportation reported 25,000 DUI arrests. In 2009 the number of drunk driving arrests had fallen to 24,000. In 2010, the number had dipped to 22,000, which is the equivalent of 62 arrests a day. Despite that dip, drunk driving accidents continue to cause serious damage, and with the damage comes ever more serious consequences.
State Trooper Injured and Registered Sex Offender Arrested in Recent DUI Busts
In mid-February, a Maryland state trooper was injured after his patrol car was hit by a sport utility vehicle driven by a 19 year-old male. The youth appeared to have lost control of his vehicle and swerved off the roadway and into trooper’s car. The trooper sustained mild injuries. The young man faces charges of driving under the influence (DUI) and will need the services of an experienced DUI defense lawyer.
Just before Thanksgiving, another serious alcohol-related crash took place in Chaptico, Maryland. A busload of girls basketball players were injured after their school bus was forced into the woods by an allegedly intoxicated man driving a pickup truck. The man’s truck hit the bus after colliding with a car making a left-hand turn onto Mechanicsburg Road. The driver of the truck, who is also a registered sex offender, was charged with DUI.
The accident injured 20 people in total, 17 of them came from the bus itself.
Serious Consequences for DUI Charges
Maryland takes DUI charges very seriously. In addition to potential jail time and fines, individuals charged with DUI will automatically have their licenses revoked.
When an individual hurts or kills another individual as a result of driving under the influence, they face additional charges, such as life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or homicide by motor vehicle, each with their own penalties.
New Laws Making Driving Tough for Repeat Offenders/Those With High BAC
Legislators in Maryland didn’t feel the existing penalties were tough enough on drunk drivers, so they added a new law. Last year, a new law went into effect that made it even more difficult for people facing DUI charges to get behind the wheel. Now, any repeat offender or first-time offender with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.15 must use ignition interlock devices to operate a motor vehicle.
Ignition interlock devices attach to a car or truck’s ignition system and will not allow the operator of the vehicle to turn on the car until they blow into the breath testing device.
The penalties for a DUI conviction are serious. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, you should hire an experienced DUI lawyer so you can begin preparing your defense as soon as possible.