A 48-year-old man was convicted of his eighth DWI charge in Wicomico County on Feb. 4. Because of his history as a repeat offender, he received an extra three years in prison and was sentenced to the maximum term allowed according to Maryland law for repeat offenders. However, the court suspended all but one year.
The defendant’s sixth and seventh convictions occurred less than seven days apart in Oct. 2012. He will serve back-to-back sentences for these three cases in which he incurred DUI charges. He was sentenced to two years and three years, respectively, which means he will need to serve a total of eight years in custody, four of them in the department of corrections. Six of the convictions have been in Wicomico County while his two other convictions were in Worcester County.
The defendant was sentenced for the eighth time for a June 2012 incident in which law enforcement personnel were dispatched to an accident when the defendant rear-ended a woman’s vehicle with four passengers inside. While none of the victims needed medical treatment, they sustained minor injuries. The defendant was driving without a required ignition interlock device.
While Maryland imposes serious sanctions for those who drink and drive, repeat offenders receive even harsher penalties. A criminal defense attorney might be able to work out a plea agreement with a defendant who has a prior record of DUIs or DWIs and who faces new charges. Alternatively, in the case of a repeat offender who may have a substance abuse problem, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to have him or her admitted to a treatment facility rather than being forced to serve an ineffective jail sentence.
Source: Md Coast Dispatch, “8th DUI Results In Jail Term,” Shawn J. Soper, Feb. 8, 2013