Police in Maryland say that the 25-year-old driver whose vehicle crashed right into the back of a Toyota Corolla, killing two people on Thanksgiving night, was driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level that was four times over the legal limit. The blood alcohol test was given to Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano at a police station, where his alcohol level registered at .32.
The car accident, which took place at the intersection of route 175 and 108 in Colombia, Maryland killed 21-year-old Marine Corporal Brian Matthews of Colombia and Jennifer Bower, 24, of Montgomery Village. Their Corolla had been standing still at a red light when the rear-end collision forced their car off the road.
According to U.S. police, Morales-Soriano is a Mexican national who is in the United States illegally. His prior criminal record includes a drunk driving charge that was dismissed by a court and reckless driving. He now faces charges for negligent manslaughter, negligent homicide, and drunk driving. Morales-Soriano could face up to 36 years in prison and be forced to pay a $30,000 fine.
In Maryland, drivers with a .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) and higher are considered to be driving under the influence. A DUI offense leads to the immediate suspension of your license.
Maryland DUI (driving under the influence): For a first offense, penalties include up to one year in jail, up to a $1000 fine, and a minimum license suspension of 45 days.
For a second offense, penalties are two years in jail and a $2,000 fine. Every time a person is convicted of drunk driving, their license will be suspended.
Maryland DWI (driving while impaired under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs): For a first offense, penalties include 8 points on the Maryland Driver’s license record, two months in jail, a license suspension of up to 60 days, and a fine of up to $500.
For a second offense, penalties can include up to one year in jail and a $500 fine. Refusing to take the breath test can result in a person’s driver’s license being suspended for up to 120 days.
DUI and DWI arrests of persons from other states will still require a Maryland MVA Hearing to protect their driving privileges. Maryland is a member of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, which shares information about DUI convictions and driver’s license actions with other member states. There are 45 states that belong to this compact.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) calculates that the average alcohol-related fatality in Maryland costs $3.6 million: $1.1 million in monetary costs and $2.5 million in quality of life losses. Also, motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol set the state back an astounding $1.9 billion in the year 2000.
The personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen handles injury cases that result as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident because of a drunk driver, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen for a free consultation.
Driver In Marine’s Death Was 4X Past Legal Limit, WJZ.com, December 1, 2006
DUI & DWI, DMV.org
Maryland DUI Law, 1800DUIlaws.com
Related Web Resource:
Penalties For Drunk Driving, Alcoholism.about.com