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Study Shows Maryland is Lenient on Drunk Drivers

A new analysis of driving under the influence (DUI) laws by WalletHub.com ranks Maryland as the seventh-most lenient in the country when it comes to how that state penalizes those arrested for drunk driving.

The study took a close look at DUI penalties by state to determine the strictest and most lenient states. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are included in the ranking, with Maryland coming in 45th nationwide.

Variables for the study included the following:

  • How much jail time is mandatory for a first and/or second offense
  • When a DUI becomes classified as an automatic felony offense
  • How long a license is allowed to be suspended when a person receives a DUI
  • If and when interlock ignition devices become mandatory to use as a DUI punishment
  • How much money states charge to fine people for DUI offenses
  • If the state uses any sobriety checkpoints as a means of prevention

Arizona ranked as the strictest state in the nation. Virginia and Delaware tied for 11th, but the District of Columbia came in at 50th. The only state that’s less strict on DUI offenders than Washington, D.C. is South Dakota.

Since states started cracking down on drunk driving in the late 1970s, rates of impaired driving have dropped significantly. Drunk driving fatalities have dropped by 57 percent since 1982, due in large part to tougher penalties and changing views about drinking in society. Almost half of all states require ignition interlock devices for convicted offenders. In fact, Maryland became one of the latest to enact such a law earlier this year.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligence of an intoxicated driver, contact a trusted La Plata car accident attorney at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.

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