New Impaired Driving Laws Tougher on Repeat OffendersJanuary 31, 2019
Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem in Maryland and across the country, despite the widely accepted fact that even a small amount of alcohol can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. New legislation is being introduced in the 2019 General Assembly that, if passed, will make repeat DUI and drunk and drugged driving a felony offense.
Lawmakers hope that the changes to the impaired driving laws will discourage people from driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
According to a AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson, under the new law, a repeat offender would be guilty of a felony. This means that, if convicted, they would face up to ten years in prison. The spokesperson went on to say that we need these laws because drunk driving accidents continue to happen.
People continue to make the careless and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel after having had too much to drink. Too often, this results in serious, often fatal accidents that claim the lives of innocent people.
Other states are also taking steps to make impaired driving a felony.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Close to 30 people are killed each day in drunk driving accidents across the United States. This translates to one fatality every 50 minutes.
Even small amounts of alcohol can impact judgment and cause a decline in visual functions. The higher the blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the more impaired the driver is going to be.
In 2016, close to 10,500 people were fatally injured in drunk driving accidents, which represents approximately 28 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States.
These accidents are completely preventable if drivers avoid getting behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages.
Effective Measures Against Drunk Driving
The following are effective measures that law enforcement and safety officials can take to help avoid serious accidents:
- Enforce minimum legal drinking age laws.
- Enforce the 0.08% BAC laws.
- Make ignition interlocks mandatory for all offenders.
- Set up sobriety checkpoints.
- Continue to raise public awareness in communities and schools.
- Require all DWI offenders to participate in mandatory substance abuse treatment programs.
The following are effective measures that individuals can do:
- Choose a designated driver before going out.
- If you notice that your friend is impaired, take their keys and make sure they get home safely.
- Call a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft if you have had too much to drink.
- If you are hosting a party, do not let any of your guests leave if they are visibly drunk. Offer a spare room, couch, or arrange for someone to drive them home.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. These accidents are completely preventable if motorists make smart choices and avoid drinking and driving. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.