Some Critics Believe Maryland’s Drunk Driving Laws are Too Lenient
Maryland is currently one of only five states that do not have any sort of felony statute for the crime of driving under the influence (DUI). All DUI charges in Maryland are misdemeanors —including repeat offenses — and that has been the subject of some criticism around the state, especially from activist groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
ABC 7 in Annapolis analyzed the DUI arrests state police made in a single random month. The investigation revealed 476 total drivers were arrested for drunk driving in October 2014. Of that group, approximately 25 percent had multiple DUIs in their past, with 36 of the drivers having been charged three or more times.
Recent measures have failed
State Delegate Ben Kramer of Montgomery County said he proposed a bill in the past for making ignition interlock devices mandatory for a first-time DUI conviction. Although he said that more than half of the state judiciary committee was in favor of the bill and signed on to be co-sponsors, it never made it out of the committee and was never put to a vote. MADD believes the chairperson of the judiciary committee, Delegate Joe Vallario of Prince George’s County, was responsible for not allowing tougher laws to be passed in the state.
In the vast majority of states, DUI penalties get significantly harsher with each conviction. Although a first DUI is usually considered a misdemeanor, multiple offenses increase the likelihood of large fines and jail time.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving car accident, contact the skilled La Plata lawyers of Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. right away to learn more about your options related to a personal injury claim.