On Saturday night, Caylen Hayes, a 21 year-old Maryland man, was walking with two other people along Route 301 near Frank Tippet Road in Upper Marlboro, Maryland when they were struck by a vehicle. Hayes’ arm was severely injured and eventually amputated. The other two people were not hurt.
The driver of the car continued driving after striking Hayes. Luckily, witnesses were able to take down the car’s license plate number to give to police. As a result, police officers went to the car owner’s house and questioned him about the accident. The car owner, who was also the driver, “had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and his eyes were bloodshot.” Police arrested the driver for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
Maryland is one of many states that have a “two-tiered” drinking and driving statute. Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is the more serious offense. If the defendant submits to a police-administered blood or breathalyzer alcohol test and the reading is 0.08 or higher there is a permissive inference that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. A DUI is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Motor Vehicle Administration penalties can include the imposition of twelve points and it is possible that your driver’s license can be revoked.
Furthermore, a “moderate odor” of alcohol is now enough to give an officer “reasonable grounds” under the statute to suspect that a person is driving impaired. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney is necessary to help defend someone who has been arrested as a result of an officer detecting a “moderate odor” of alcohol.If you have been arrested for a DUI/DWI it is important that you consult a Maryland DUI attorney immediately because DUI is a criminal offense and carries potentially severe penalties. An experienced attorney can guide you through the court process and find any possible defenses that can either mitigate the penalties in the case, or in some instances, lead to an acquittal or dismissal. Feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/