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Baltimore Criminal Law Blog

Maryland police officers facing multiple charges, including DUI

As we've noted here before, law enforcement officers aren't immune from making the mistake of drinking and driving. Just like civilians, they can be arrested and charged with DUI-related offenses. A DUI charge can also immediately impact their job.

An officer with the Anne Arundel County Police Department (AACOPD) is facing multiple charges after he reportedly rear-ended a vehicle in Crofton. The 43-year-old officer, who has been with the department for more than two decades, was not on duty at the time.

Can 'helicopter parenting' lead to college drinking?

When kids have a problem with alcohol, whether it's a habit of drinking to excess or a DUI arrest, parents often ask themselves if they're to blame. At the very least, they wonder if they could have done something to prevent it.

Some research has pointed to helicopter parenting as a cause of binge drinking in teens and college-age kids. "Helicopter parents" are known for being excessively protective of their kids, hovering over them and wanting to know what they're doing at all times.

Alcohol is being offered everywhere from yoga classes to funerals

It sometimes seems as though alcohol is available just about everywhere. Many hair salons offer clients a glass of wine. Yoga and painting classes sometimes make alcohol available. Book club meetings and even children's play dates are often an excuse for people to have a glass of wine (or a few). Bowling alleys have long sold beer and other alcoholic beverages. Some gun ranges even serve alcohol on their premises.

Some funeral homes offer alcoholic beverages as well -- to help friends and family toast to a life well lived or simply to help them cope with a loss. Either way, if you drive somewhere you aren't expecting to drink and end up consuming more than a glass or two of alcohol, you can place yourself and others in danger when you get in the car.

Could Probation Before Judgment be the right solution for you?

If you have been arrested for your first crime, you may be worried and scared. You may also be wondering what sort of options you have. Maryland has a program for first-time offenders that may help you. The Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) law allows offenders to complete a probation program without having a conviction on your record. Here are a few things you should know about PBJ:

Despite all the warnings, DUIs increase on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday isn't an official holiday. However, for many Americans, it feels like one -- particularly if "your" team is playing. Even people who barely know the rules of football often find themselves at parties and in bars on Super Bowl Sunday just for the fun, camaraderie, food, and of course, the drinks.

It's no wonder that DUI rates spike on Super Bowl Sunday. One study of over 530,000 people who had previous DUI convictions found that subsequent arrests were 22 percent higher on this day than on the average Sunday. This was despite the fact that they had been ordered to wear alcohol monitoring bracelets.

Do state DUI laws impact the number of impaired driving deaths?

A new report on how states rank in the number of deaths caused by drunk and other impaired driving puts Maryland in the bottom half at No. 33. Our readers who work or otherwise travel regularly around the D.C. metropolitan area might be interested to know that Virginia came in slightly better, at No. 37, and Washington D.C. was lower still at No. 45.

The data, which came in part from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was reported in a study by the home security review site SafeWise. The study also looked at DUI penalties in each state. It may be telling that 80 percent of the states that ranked highest in impaired driving deaths have no mandatory minimum jail time requirement for first-time offenders. The average minimum fine for someone convicted for their first DUI is also higher in the states with the most deaths than in those with the fewest.

Don't expect to pass a Breathalyzer test if you've vaped alcohol

If you're the parent of a teen, you no doubt are familiar with the popular practice of vaping. Any number of substances, both legal and illegal, can be vaped -- including alcohol.

When alcohol is ingested through a vape device, it takes a different route through the body than if it's consumed via a glass or bottle. However, it impacts your body and your brain, nonetheless. People who think that by vaping alcohol rather than drinking it, they'll be able to pass a Breathalyzer test, which measures a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they're wrong,

SoberRide promotion aims to decrease drunk driving this season

If your holiday celebrations take you near or into the Washington, D.C., area any time through New Year's Eve and you have the Lyft app on your phone, you can save some money and get a safe ride home. That's thanks to a partnership between Lyft and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP).

The two have been providing a SoberRide service throughout the D.C. metro area since mid-December from 8 p.m. through 4 a.m. each night. The service is available in Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland and throughout Northern Virginia.

Would you know if your child was drinking?

The holidays are a time when many parents and teens spend more time around each other than usual. This can give parents a better opportunity to detect signs that their child is drinking. Even if they tell you they aren't, holiday parties and get-togethers with friends often include alcohol.

Recently, we talked about the importance of having a plan so that your child can call or text you with an agreed-on code to come and get them out of a situation i which they aren't comfortable. However, often teens have no interest in leaving a party where people are drinking.

State sees more than 2 dozen DUI crashes in 1 weekend

The holiday party season is in full swing. That's likely the reason for at least a few of the large number of crashes attributed to impaired driving and an even greater number of DUI arrests by state troopers two weekends before Christmas.

According to the Maryland State Police (MSP), troopers responded to more than two dozen crashes throughout the state in which alcohol and/or drugs were involved from Friday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 16.