Bill seeks restitution for Maryland drunk driving victims

Bill seeks restitution for Maryland drunk driving victims

Last December, a bicyclist was killed in Baltimore, Maryland, after being
struck by a vehicle driven by a bishop who had previously been convicted
of drunk driving. Thirteen charges have been filed against the woman,
including manslaughter by vehicle, automobile manslaughter, homicide by
motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, failure to remain
at the accident scene and texting while driving.

According to a Maryland state senator, that accident was the catalyst for
the state’s General Assembly to take action against drunk drivers.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jamie Raskin, would allow for fines against
those who are responsible for injuries or death that occur while they
are driving while intoxicated or with a revoked or suspended license.
The bill would require drunk drivers with a
blood alcohol content of .16 or higher to pay the fine as restitution to the victim or his or
her family.

The bill could also make the fines possible if the injury or death was
caused by someone who, within the last five years, had a plea, conviction
or sentence of probation.

The bishop’s charges in the bicyclist’s death have also moved
the legislative body of the Episcopal Church to act. They are considering
tougher standards and scrutiny when electing church officials. The election
of the bishop has been called a “seeming failure of the process.”
She was elected as bishop; however, not everyone who was voting knew she
had a previous conviction for drunk driving.

When facing a charge for drunk driving, it’s important to ensure
that you have experienced legal representation. The penalties are serious
and can affect all aspects of your life, including your career, social
life and family.

Source: The Washington Post, “Maryland would fine drunk-drivers to provide restitution” Feb. 10, 2015