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.
The Maryland legal system takes impaired driving seriously. Even a first-time DUI conviction can land a person in jail for up to a year and cost them as much as $1,000 in fines. You can lose your driver's license for as long as four months. Depending on what kind of job you have, a DUI conviction can also impact your ability to earn a living.
If you've been arrested for DUI, don't try to deal with the legal system on your own. The stakes are too high. You may be able to challenge the evidence and the arrest. With experienced legal guidance, you can work to mitigate the consequences of the arrest on your life.