Monday, June 29, 2015

Fatal Potomac Accident Involving Teenagers and Underage Drinking

           Late Thursday night, two Wooton High School students who just graduated last month, were tragically killed in a car crash on Dufief Mill Road in Potomac, Maryland.  The two teens that lost their lives in the accident, Alexander Murk and Calvin Jia-Xing Li, were in the car with Samuel Ellis, who was driving.  Ellis, the star quarterback for Wooton, was injured in the crash and remains in critical condition.  A fourth passenger was also injured in the crash, but only suffered minor injuries.
            
          Police have been investigating this accident for days now and are still trying to figure out how these teens obtained alcohol and if any adults are at fault for supplying alcohol to minors.  Police believe the teens were at a party where underage drinking took place and then the boys got into the car and drove away.  Ellis lost control of the car and Murk and Li, who were not wearing seatbelts, died in the crash.  Police did come to the party and cited eight teenagers for underage drinking.
            
          Underage drinking occurs on a daily basis and sadly, many of these underage teens get behind the wheel of a car, putting their life and the lives of others at risk for serious injury or death.  Adding insult to injury, many teenagers fail to wear a seatbelt in the car, which drastically increases the chances of serious injury or death when involved in an accident.  The only thing we can do is continue to warn teens about the effects of drinking and driving and not wearing a seatbelt.  Parents are in the best position to educate their teenagers about these things and to set certain rules to try and prevent alcohol-related accidents as best they can.
            
          AAA recently released results from a study which show more than half of all crashes involving teen drivers are caused by distractions.  Some of the most common distractions include texting while driving and other passengers in the car.  When alcohol and driving is combined with several passengers in a vehicle, a serious car accident is likely to occur.  Distractions on their own cause numerous accidents on the road, but when the driver is also driving under the influence of alcohol, the likelihood of a crash increases dramatically. 

          If you or a family member has been arrested for a DUI in Rockville, Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on drunk driving cases please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Rockville or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/

Monday, June 22, 2015

Car Drives Off B-W Parkway Ramp in Greenbelt, Driver Arrested for DUI

           Early this morning, a woman drove her car off the northbound Greenbelt Road ramp on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  After d riving off the ramp, the car crashed into a wooded area full of trees.  Police arrived after the accident and observed the driver stumbling as she walked.  As a result, police administered a sobriety test, which she failed.  The woman was then arrested for DUI.  Luckily, there were no injuries associated with this crash.
            
            There are drunk drivers on the road every day, yet it is impossible for police officers to catch every single one of them.  Unfortunately, a majority of drunk drivers are not caught and are therefore never penalized for driving under the influence of alcohol.  Oftentimes, the drunk driver crashes into another vehicle or into a pedestrian, causing severe injuries to an innocent person. 

Fatal car accidents that are attributed to drunk drivers happen far too often in Maryland.  The state’s Department of Transportation has a goal of zero deaths on Maryland’s roadways, and they continue to work tirelessly to improve the roads and make them safer for drivers.  Drunk driving related deaths are the worst kind of accident-related death because someone makes an irresponsible decision to drive drunk and then an innocent life is taken away because of that.   Losing a loved one in a fatal car accident is devastating for any family, especially when it could have been prevented.  No amount of money will ever replace losing that person.  In a wrongful death case, the law allows for surviving estates to collect a financial recovery when a negligent party is held liable for the cause of the death.  Compensation for damages can include: loss of services, loss of future income, mental anguish, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and punitive damages.

            
            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of a drunk driver and would like to consult an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Greenbelt or throughout Maryland or visit us online at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Auto-Accidents/Car-Accidents/Fatal-Car-Accidents.shtml

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Maryland State Police Trying to Combat Drunk Driving

          Over the weekend, Maryland State Police arrested 80 drivers for drunk driving.  Numerous Maryland drivers continue to make the irresponsible decision to drive a car after consuming alcohol.  Yes, it is the easiest option, but it is also the most dangerous.

            One of the worst offenders arrested over the weekend was Felix Mateo, who was stopped twice by police for driving under the influence in the same night.  The first time, Mateo was stopped by police with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) more than twice the legal limit, and the police released him to his wife.  Later that night, police find Mateo driving on the road again exemplifying reckless behavior, crossing the center line, hitting curbs, and swerving into another car’s lane.  Officers pull him over once again.  Mateo’s BAC was still more than twice the legal limit.  He was charged with DUI twice.

            Another reckless drunk driver arrested over the weekend was caught driving 94mph in a 55mph zone and had his 9 year old in the car with him.  This driver was also arrested and charged with DUI, among other offenses.

            Driving drunk is never an option no matter the situation.  If you are driving and plan to drink alcohol, you must make a plan for getting home safely without driving yourself.  It is always good to arrange for having a designated driver.  If that is not feasible, driver services such as Uber and Lyft are readily available and very easy to use.  And if those services are not feasible either, a traditional taxi is always a safe option when you are drunk and cannot drive.

            The number of drunk drivers arrested every weekend in Maryland is too high, and remember those are only the few that are caught by police.  There are hundreds, if not thousands more that are not caught driving drunk.  There is no excuse for putting innocent people at risk.

             If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Silver Spring or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/

Friday, June 12, 2015

Interlock Devices May Be a Nuisance, But Are Very Advantageous

         Maryland, as well as 20 other states, mandate use of ignition interlock devices for first time DUI offenders.  While many believe that the ignition interlock device is very strict punishment for a first-time offender, several studies have shown that people convicted of DUI have driven while impaired by alcohol numerous times before being arrested even once.  Interlock devices are installed to be connected to your car in a way that prohibits any driving if the machine detects any alcohol.  Most devices also require the driver to blow into it additional times while operating the car, which is known as a “rolling retest.”

            When studies are conducted comparing states that have laws requiring interlock devices to be used after a first DUI offense to states that do not require interlock devices for a first offense, it shows that the advantages of an interlock surpass any potential drawbacks to the program.  Drivers with devices installed in their cars were less likely of having another alcohol-related offense.  In addition, most drivers remained DUI free for a longer period even after the device is removed.  Drunk driving has been a serious problem for several years and continues to be a problem today.  While thousands of drivers are caught by police, thousands more get away with drinking and driving, and oftentimes injure or kill an innocent person.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that more than 10,000 people die every year from accidents attributed to drunk drivers.

            If you do get caught drinking and driving tomorrow and are charged with DUI, call our attorneys for a free consultation.  Our Maryland DUI attorneys handle drunk driving-related cases every day.  If you have been arrested for a DUI/DWI it is important that you consult an experienced 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. 

             If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Columbia or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/