One way lawmakers strive to deter drunk driving is to increase the penalties. For example, those who continue to get arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating substances face increasingly harsher consequences for each conviction.
A person convicted once for driving while intoxicated will not face a repeat DUI offense if caught operating a boat while incapacitated. Instead, it is considered a separate offense. If passed into law, a bill currently under review in Maryland may change that.
DUI offenses will no longer be separated
The Maryland Senate has already approved the bill and sent it to the House of Delegates. If ultimately passed, the new law will treat DUIs in water and land vessels as repeat offenses.
Say that you already have one or more driving-related DUI convictions under your belt and now face charges of operating a boat while intoxicated. If the bill becomes law, the boat-related incident will be charged as a repeat offense to your land vehicle DUI charge.
The same is true if you have already been convicted of a boating DUI and then face driving DUI charges. Should the bill become law, the authorities will charge the land vehicle incident as a repeat offense to the previous boating DUI.
The language of criminal laws is often hard to understand. It makes more sense in most situations to seek guidance from someone who already knows the nuances of DUI laws inside and out.
Legal representation and knowledge of current and new DUI laws can help you avoid consequences that could jeopardize your freedoms and way of life.