A driver who allegedly struck two stopped police vehicles was charged with multiple offenses on the night of Feb. 22. The incident took place in Waldorf in the vicinity of St. Charles Parkway and Smallwood Drive. The police vehicles were parked one behind the other while officers were processing another driver, a 40-year-old Waldorf man, whom they had stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The driver had been placed in one of the officer’s vehicles, and there was another officer sitting inside the other police vehicle, according to Charles County Sheriff’s Office officials.
At 1:41 a.m., authorities said, a 24-year-old driver, also a Waldorf resident, struck both police cars and the stopped driver’s car. The car continued on until it came to rest in a ditch. The two patrol cars were disabled by the collision. When officers approached the striking car, they said that they could smell a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the driver. According to authorities, the driver attempted to resist being taken into custody and was combative toward police officers.
The driver who struck the vehicles was charged with failure to drive right of center, driving while suspended, DUI and other offenses. The driver who had been seated in the police car was charged with driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated and other offenses.
Emergency personnel transported the drivers and police officers to a regional medical center to be treated for moderate injuries. There was a passenger in the car that had struck the police cruisers who reportedly refused any medical treatment.
Maryland DUI charges can be serious and might result in severe penalties upon conviction. Potential penalties might include revocation of one’s driver’s license, fines, mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education program, community service, and probation. A criminal defense attorney may look at several factors, including the state’s evidence, police reports and a defendant’s recollection of events in order to determine the best course of action.
One way to avoid a trial is to accept a plea bargain. A prosecutor may be willing to combine or drop some charges against a defendant in exchange for an agreement from the defendant to plead guilty or no contest to the remaining charges. The alternative is to take the case before a judge and jury at trial.