An employee of the Department of Economic Development was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol recently and faces additional charges of bribery for offering a police officer $5,000 to reduce her DUI charges to “lesser charges.” An article on Gazette.net said that the 51-year-old female employee was stopped by the police around seven in the morning on March 26, 2009, after they had been alerted by reports of an erratic driver near a fast-food restaurant in the 26400 block of Ridge Road in Damascus. She faces charges of:
- Driving while impaired by alcohol
- Driver failure to yield right of way while crossing a highway
- Violating a driver’s license restriction
- Possessing more than one driver’s license
A spokesperson for Howard County said that the woman was placed on paid leave from her position as a business development specialist immediately after her arrest but would not release any details about the woman’s work record as it is covered by Maryland’s privacy laws. Apparently, the woman was driving a county vehicle at the time of her Maryland DUI arrest even though she was not permitted to drive the county car after business hours. County policy does allow an employee to take a county vehicle home from work if they have county business to attend to early the next morning, but the spokesperson said that the employee had no such business on the morning of her arrest.
Court records indicate that this is not the woman’s first drunk driving arrest. She pleaded guilty on May 7, 2009, to driving under the influence in connection with DUI charges against her from October 2008. She was placed on probation for a year and her driver’s license was suspended for 275 days for the October DUI charges. Court records also indicated that the woman was convicted on DWI charges in 1992, 1995, 1996, and 2005 and convicted for DUI in 1988.
Police say that the woman had an alcohol restriction on her driver’s license at the time of the arrest and is required to have an interlock device in her vehicle which she must blow into in order for the vehicle to start. If the device detects any alcohol on her breath, she won’t be able to start the car.
The police report from the county employee’s arrest indicates that police were alerted by reports of an erratic driver and a county sheriff deputy saw the county’s Chevrolet Trailblazer fail to yield as it exited the drive-thru lanes of a fast-food restaurant. The deputy pulled the Chevy over and after conducting a search, found and confiscated three Maryland driver’s licenses from her purse. Responding to public outcry, Maryland has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country and if someone is convicted of DUI multiple times, they risk being sentenced to years in prison and many other severe criminal penalties.
If you or someone you care for is facing DUI charges, call the experienced Maryland drunk driving defense lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC today at 866.444.6363. Their Maryland DUI defense attorneys have a thorough understanding of DUI laws and the correct procedures that law enforcement officials must follow while collecting evidence and administering field sobriety tests. If an arresting officer fails to follow correct procedures, their skilled Maryland DWI lawyers may be able to have the charges dismissed or reduced to lesser charges. Don’t take a chance with your driving privileges by representing yourself in court on a DUI charge; call Alpert Schreyer today to speak with experienced drunk driving attorneys.