Think about the last time you and your family went out to dinner. Maybe you had a drink or two with your meal, but you didn't go overboard. When you finished your meal, you all piled back in the car and began driving home. Then, imagine that you saw flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You pulled over, and the police officer said you committed a minor traffic violation. Then he asked if you had been drinking. You told him you had a few drinks at dinner, and he suspected DUI. Then he saw your children in the backseat, and suddenly child endangerment came into play. As one Maryland woman recently found out, this situation can be extremely frightening for a parent.
Here in Annapolis, we all know that Anne Arundel police do not take drunk driving lightly. Officers are trained to spot even the smallest signs that a driver may be intoxicated, and they will not hesitate to pull a driver over if he or she exhibits those signs. On holidays that are known to involve drinking, police are especially vigilant.
Dram shop liability is an area of the law in which bars, taverns or other similar establishments that serve alcohol can be held accountable on some level for the actions of their patrons. Most often, it comes into play in drunk driving cases. Currently, 44 states and Washington, D.C., have some kind of law around dram shop, but Maryland does not. That, however, may change soon.
Last weekend, Howard County police and Maryland State Police conducted a sobriety checkpoint in North Laurel. According to reports, 537 drivers on U.S. Route 1 passed through the DUI checkpoint. Three of those people are now facing drunk driving charges.
Early Wednesday morning, a Maryland man lost control of his car and drove off of Route 5 near Forest Park. When a police officer reported to the crash site, the driver told him a deer had run into the road. He swerved so he wouldn't hit it and ended up driving off the road. The officer, however, apparently wasn't convinced.