New legislation aims to make repeat DUI offenses a felony
In Maryland, legislation in both the House and Senate could make drunk driving a felony after the third offense.
Currently under Maryland law, after three or more DUIs someone found guilty would only serve a maximum three years.
The new legislation would not only make the fourth offense a felony, but that person would also have to pay up to $10,000 and could spend up ten years in prison.
Wicomico County State Attorney Jamie Dykes says an increased penalty like this might be beneficial to our local counties, who see many DUIs each year, but also as a deterrent to repeat offenders.
"If drivers know that they're facing a felony on their third or more conviction I'd like to think that'd stop people from drinking and driving and then hopefully it motivates them to get treatment and to stay off the street," explains Dykes.
She says the potential changes would be reflective of the seriousness of the crime and the risk that it poses to public safety.
And if that defendant didn't comply and didn't seek treatment, this would at least keep the public out of danger for longer than it would right now.
Currently Wicomico and Worcester Counties are among the highest in state for successful prosecution of DUIs.