A Berlin, Maryland man has been arrested for his 8th drunk driving offense according to the Maryland State Police. Troopers responded to a traffic accident on Route 50 in Wicomico County at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning and made contact with the allegedly intoxicated driver of a 2002 Ford Explorer. The driver who was later charged with DUI apparently failed to stop at a red light, and rear ended a Suzuki SUV that was stopped and waiting for the light to turn green. The driver of the Suzuki, a 47-year-old woman, apparently suffered minor injuries, as did the 3 passengers traveling in her vehicle. All four of the occupants of the Suzuki refused medical treatment from on scene EMTs and left the scene on their own power. The driver of the Explorer however was not afforded the ability to leave the scene on his own power, as the Maryland troopers detained the man for sobriety exercises.
The Maryland police officers reportedly immediately noticed signs that the driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol, and lawfully detained the driver for further investigation. The Maryland DUI defendant was subsequently placed under arrest for his poor performance on the roadside sobriety exercises. Maryland State Police officers quickly found out that the defendant was also driving on a suspended license for multiple previous DUI convictions. In addition, the defendant was required to install an engine interlock device in his car if he ever miraculously obtained a valid Maryland drivers license in the future. Not surprisingly the cereal DUI defendant was driving without his interlock device properly installed. The DUI defendant has a lengthy criminal record in Maryland, and drunk driving charges are not the only type of criminal cases that appear on this record. Theft and disorderly conduct are just some of the other criminal charges that appear on the defendant’s rap sheet. The defendant also has dozens of traffic citations over the last 25 years in multiple Maryland districts, including Ocean City, Salisbury, and Snow Hill.
The previous post in the Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog addressed whether Maryland drunk driving laws were too lenient. If there were one area where a case for stricter DUI laws can be made in Maryland, it is with respect to the maximum punishments for fourth and subsequent drunk driving convictions. Currently in Maryland, the maximum punishment for a third DUI is 3 years in jail along with a $3,000 fine. A third DUI is a misdemeanor, and conviction also carries a minimum mandatory 10 day jail sentence, and driver license suspensions. Some may argue that the problem with the Maryland DUI laws is that the maximum punishments do not increase once you get beyond a third DUI, and therefore an 8th DUI is still a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail. Some states such as Florida, can classify a third or subsequent DUI as a felony, and other states have escalating maximum jail sentences for each subsequent drunk driving offense. The Maryland Legislature does not appear to be going down the imminent path of modifying drunk driving punishments, but you can bet that this recent DUI arrest will stir up some discussion in Annapolis.
Benjamin Herbst is a Maryland drunk driving lawyer. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact The Herbst Firm for a free consultation.
Berlin Man Arrested in Salisbury for 8th DUI, www.wboc.com.