As we wrote about last month, legislators in Maryland’s General Assembly are working towards passing legislation to increase the penalty for adults that “knowingly and willingly” host underage drinking parties at their home. Currently, anyone convicted of violating this law are only required to pay a maximum fine of $2,500 per offense. The call for stricter penalties comes after a devastating accident last summer in which two Potomac teens died in a car accident after attending an underage drinking party. The bill, which is referred to as “Alex and Calvin’s Law,” is named after the two who died in the accident.
Last month, both the Senate and House passed their respective versions of the bill nearly unanimously. Both versions of the bill would include a jail sentence of up to one year for a first offense and up to two years for each subsequent offense of “knowingly and willingly” hosting an underage drinking party. Both bills would also increase the fines for a first offense and every subsequent offense. There are slight differences in the two versions, however. The two bodies of lawmakers are trying to hammer out certain details in order to get one uniform bill passed into law. The biggest difference between the Senate and House versions is that one requires jail time for both furnishing alcohol to underage teenagers and for hosting an underage drinking party, while the other version only requires jail time for hosting an underage drinking party.
If the Senate and House can come together and create a unified bill, it would then go to a vote, and if passed, could be signed into law by Governor Hogan.
If you or a family member has been charged with an alcohol-related offense in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on these types of offenses please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Laurel or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/