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Are deals available even to repeat drunk driving offenders?

In our last post, we discussed the proposed bill that would require ignition interlock devices to be used by anyone convicted of drunk driving in Maryland. Yet this is not the first time that the proposal has been made. Will the instant bill pass and become law? A recent arrest sheds additional context on that policy debate.

The accused is a 40-year-old woman who was recently released early from her drunk driving prison sentence. She had been convicted for a drunk driving crash that resulted in two deaths. As part of her early release, the woman was required to use an ignition interlock device. 

Unfortunately, the woman apparently tried to drive while intoxicated. According to authorities, the device in her car prevented her from starting her car on several attempts due to intoxication levels above the legal limit. Authorities claim that one of the device readings was a 0.16 blood alcohol level.

Triggering the device landed the woman back in court, where a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ordered her to be held for 90 days without bond. She will be sentenced at the end of that period.

Is the woman’s fate sealed? As a law firm that focuses on criminal defense, including drunk driving defense and violations of DWI parole terms, we have observed negotiating opportunities even at the eleventh hour. For example, the court may consider extenuating circumstances: the woman is a graduate of a local tech university and has an eight-year-old daughter at home. The court might agree that mandatory treatment might be a better approach than incarceration. 

Source: Washington Post, “Maryland DUI Interlock case: Offender was at twice legal limit,” Neil Augenstein, March 4, 2016

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