How DUI Cases Differ on Maryland’s Highways
If you are arrested for driving while under the influence, will you get jail time? While you technically should follow Maryland law, not all offenders do. A recent investigation shows that those who are arrested for DUI face various penalties based on their location within Maryland.
You would think that all drivers in Maryland would be treated equally when they break the law, but that isn’t always the case. Apparently, DUI drivers in Prince George’s County are less likely to receive jail time than those in other counties within the state.
This is concerning to victims of drunk drivers as well as their families. Driving while under the influence should be considered a serious crime that motorists should avoid. When they are not punished to the fullest extent, it is likely that they will continue to drink and drive.
The investigation involved using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain lists of drivers arrested by police in Prince George’s County for DUI charges between January 2019 and August 2020 on Maryland Route 210. Of the 75 DUI arrests on the highway, half of them have been closed by the county’s court system. A driver served jail time in just one case. The other DUI drivers were primarily fined. Many were given probation to reduce jail sentences. Most of the cases were dismissed.
Compare this to Montgomery County. In the 60 DUI cases reviewed in Montgomery County, more than 30% resulted in jail sentences. In the first dozen of Anne Arundel County DUI cases reviewed, half of the drivers were sentenced to jail time.
In Charles County, DUI drivers received even stiffer sentences. Approximately half of the closed DUI cases resulted in jail time.
The disparities are unacceptable. First-time DUI arrests are often handled as traffic infractions instead of crimes. Even multiple offenders are given a slap on the wrist instead of jail time.
The victims of drunk driving cases are upset about this. They say that leaders in Prince George’s County must do better. These minor sentences make it sound like the lawmakers don’t take DUIs seriously. They need to find a way to increase the penalties so they are in line with other Maryland counties.
Impaired driving is dangerous, no matter where it occurs. Many victims of drunk driving suffer catastrophic injuries and even die. Many families spend many years dealing with the pain of knowing their loved one was killed by a reckless driver. It’s heartbreaking to know that a death could have been avoided with stiffer penalties.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
A DUI is a serious crime but the penalties can differ based on location, even within the state of Maryland. Make sure you protect your driver’s license and other freedoms.
The Columbia DUI & traffic offense lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can defend you from DUI charges. We have extensive experience with DUIs and other traffic offenses. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 for a free consultation. We have two offices to serve you.