Maryland law enforcement officers take instances of drunk driving very seriously. Not only will an officer not hesitate to arrest someone they believe has been operating a vehicle while intoxicated, prosecutors will not hesitate to seek harsh penalties. One Anne Arundel County delegate found this out the hard way last month.
The Republican delegate was ordered to serve 60 days in jail after pleading guilty two separate instances of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. One occurred in August 2012, and one happened this August.
In the first incident, the man was operating a boat on the Magothy River when a crash occurred. The accident left six people and the delegate injured. The second incident happened this summer. Police stopped the man when they noticed him speeding and driving erratically down Route 100.
In addition to the jail time, the delegate will also be required to serve three years of probation and participate in a treatment program for alcohol abuse. He will have an interlock ignition device installed in his vehicle.
The delegate has already made efforts to control his drinking. After his arrest this summer he checked himself into a treatment center, and he is continuing with treatment today. The delegate's attorney said several stressors -- including political pressures and his separation from his wife -- contributed to his drinking problem.
Although the judge made an example out of this man because he is a public official, it clearly shows the severe consequences a person could face for drunk driving. It is important to remember, however, that not everyone has to plead guilty to drunk driving charges. There are many ways to challenge a prosecutor's case and protect your freedom.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Dwyer sentenced to 60 days for driving impaired, boating under influence," Pamela Wood, Oct. 25, 2013