Earlier this month in Baltimore, the most winning Olympian pleaded guilty to driving under the influence. According to a recent report by one local news source, the swimmer was pulled over back in September of this year when he was seen crossing a double yellow line in the Fort McHenry Tunnel.
The arresting officer told the court that Phelps’ breath-alcohol content was .14, and that the legal limit in Maryland is .08. Phelps was also going 84 miles per hour in a zone that is designated as 45 miles per hour. This was Phelps’ second DUI offense in the past 10 years.
At sentencing, Phelps was given a jail sentence of 12 months. However, that sentence was suspended in favor of 18 months’ probation. While on probation, Phelps will not be permitted to drink alcohol. He was also ordered to do community service and must go 90 days without driving privileges.
Drunk Driving in Maryland
Drunk driving is taken very seriously in Maryland for obvious reasons. While the 22-time medalist was given what most will agree was a lenient sentence, not everyone convicted of DUI is so lucky, and for good reason.
Each year, thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in drunk driving accidents across the nation. In Maryland alone, there were upwards of 155 deaths caused by drunk drivers, 25 of which involved people under the age of 21. While the total percentage of drunk driving accidents per 1,000 drivers has gone down over the past 10 years, that same percentage has increased when considering underage drivers.
In Maryland, drivers are not permitted to operate a vehicle with a blood- or breath-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more. If a driver is involved in an accident and found to have a BAC of .08 or more, he or she may be held liable for any injuries caused in the accident.
Underage Drinking and DUI Accidents
Maryland has a zero tolerance law when it comes to the consumption of alcohol by minor drivers. This means that any trace of alcohol in a minor’s bloodstream renders that driver guilty of driving under the influence. If an accident was involved, that underage driver, his or her insurance company, and potentially the minor’s parents, can be held liable for the injuries caused in the accident.
Have You Been Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Maryland accident that you believe involved drugs or alcohol, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other driver’s intoxication. The Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers has decades of experience representing Maryland accident victims in a wide variety of personal injury actions, including drunk driving accidents. To learn more about drunk driving accidents, and how you may be able to recover for the injuries you have sustained, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Construction Worker Injured in Workplace Accident Receives Verdict of over $21 Million, Maryland Accident Law Blog, November 10, 2014.
Change of Venue Ordered in Medical Malpractice Case; Impartial Jury Concerns Cited, Maryland Accident Law Blog, December 1, 2014.