Being charged for intoxicated driving is a common occurrence. Some people may assume that this fact means that the judicial system doesn’t severely punish those convicted of drunk driving. This assumption is false, as the punishment for a DUI conviction is wide-ranging. The state of Maryland considers these types of offenses so seriously that the Department of Transportation announced it will participate in a Learning Collaborative aimed at reducing instances of drunk driving.
The National Governors Association picked Maryland specifically for this collaborative. Not only will representatives from different agencies look at data related to drunk driving in this state, but they will also examine what other states are doing to manage this issue. They will consider educational programs, laws and other related areas. Experts say that drunk driving crashes make up 31% of all traffic fatalities in the state and they are hopeful this initiative will reduce those numbers.
The collaborative will also track those convicted of drunk driving, as well as improve the ability of courts to accept expert evidence regarding drug recognition when blood tests are not available. This could have far-reaching impacts on those accused and convicted of intoxicated driving and how their cases would be handled in court. For now, the collaborative is optimistic that the benefits will outweigh any drawbacks.
While this initiative is admirable, it indicates that Maryland courts will not go easy on those accused of drunk driving. A DUI conviction could result in jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges and more. Even after a person has served his or her sentence, a DUI conviction may affect a person’s ability to obtain employment, secure a loan or even damage the person’s personal and professional reputations. Those accused of drunk driving will want to consider the best strategy to ensure they are treated fairly by the judicial system. An attorney with experience in this line of criminal defense may be a defendant’s best hope.