© 2024 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Maryland Senate approves tougher penalties for repeat DUI offenders

Matt Bush

The Maryland Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to stiffer penalties for repeat DUI offenders across the state.

Once it receives final approval as early as this week, the bill goes to the House of Delegates.

A person can be charged with DUI while operating a car or a boat.

And penalties increase for each subsequent DUI after a person is convicted. But that only applies to the specific vehicle they are operating, and the measure the Senate passed deals with that according to Montgomery County Democrat Jeff Waldstreicher.

“This bill counts a boating DUI as a second and subsequent offense to a driving DUI, and vice-versa,” Waldstreicher told his colleagues.

The change doesn’t affect many cases, as analysis from the state shows only 14 boating DUI charges in the past two fiscal years with just one conviction.

That same analysis reports the larger impact could be on sentences for those convicted of vehicular manslaughter if they had previous DUI convictions on their records.

In 2013, ahigh-profile drunken boating conviction was then-Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr., the Anne Arundel County Republican who pleaded guilty to the charge several years ago. Dwyer was a repeat offender as two weeks later he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol just before 1 a.m. in late August 2013.

A list of proposed penalties for DUIs in Maryland.
Matt Bush
A list of proposed penalties for DUIs in Maryland.

Matt Bush spent 14 years in public radio prior to coming to WYPR as news director in October 2022. From 2008 to 2016, he worked at Washington D.C.’s NPR affiliate, WAMU, where he was the station’s Maryland reporter. He covered the Maryland General Assembly for six years (alongside several WYPR reporters in the statehouse radio bullpen) as well as both Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. @MattBushMD
Related Content