Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Accidents

A judge has sentenced a local man to two years in jail for a fatal Cecil County, Maryland pedestrian traffic accident.

This fatal pedestrian and truck accident occurred in the Elkton area of Cecil County, Maryland on the evening of June 14, 2009.

According to local news reports, a 57-year-old Cecil County man was driving his truck when he struck a pedestrian, age 44, who was on the roadside helping another man load a moped onto a parked truck. The victim was crushed between the driver’s truck and the parked vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announced that several states will be launching drunk driving prevention and law enforcement initiatives — including Maryland.

Maryland’s efforts to deter deadly drunk driving accidents over Labor Day weekend and beyond include…

o Checkpoint Strikeforce: The Maryland Highway Safety Office’s six-month impaired driving enforcement and education program, which kicks off Aug. 24 in Baltimore.

Experienced Baltimore County, Maryland car accident attorneys know that when someone intoxicated gets behind the wheel, everyone on the road with them is at risk.

Anyone can be hurt or killed in drunk-driving traffic accidents-including justice and law enforcement officials who work to prevent such car, truck, and pedestrian accidents from happening. Last year on Aug. 21, a Maryland judge found himself in the path of a drunk driver, with serious consequences. It was not the first time the two had met.

The Washington Post reports that a retired Maryland judge and his wife, both in their 80s, were seriously injured when a man driving a Chevy SUV struck their Honda automobile. The car accident occurred in Montgomery County, Md. The judge’s injuries included a leg fracture and broken ribs, and his wife suffered spinal injury and multiple broken bones. Ironically, the judge had spared the same man jail time when he stood before him in court years earlier, on a different drunk-driving charge.

Maryland traffic accident deaths have been on the decline in recent years — down to a five-year low of 591 fatalities in 2008, as compared to 643 deaths in 2004. Deaths due to drunk-driving are also down — 152 deaths in 2008 compared to 211 deaths in 2004. (Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Maryland 2004-2008.) That’s encouraging news for those of us who get in our cars, trucks, or SUVs every day and venture out on Maryland’s streets and highways. But it’s little consolation if you’re among the people who lost their lives — or the grieving families and friends they left behind.

In an effort to keep the numbers of Maryland drunk driving car accidents and fatalities going down, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has ordered a task force to organize and create a new state driving safety initiative. The Maryland Alcohol Safety Action Program (MASAP) hopes to reduce the number of repeat drunk-driving offenders by tracking those dangerous problem drivers “from the point of arrest, through adjudication, completion of treatment and beyond.”

Baltimore, Maryland wrongful death lawyers know the carnage that can result when alcohol-impaired drivers get behind the wheel. Sometimes it seems the only thing that stops chronic repeat drunk-driving offenders is when their recklessness finally takes a life and they’re convicted of vehicular homicide. We’ve all heard those sad, maddening news stories about some innocent person who lost their life because a repeat drunk-driving offender took to the road again under the influence — despite multiple DUI citations.

Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety reports that Maryland is among a handful of states that get good or “green” marks for highway safety. However the group believes that Maryland teen traffic accidents could be prevented with tougher state laws restricting teenage drivers.

Maryland has a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program for teens and has adopted an all-driver ban on texting while driving (see blog entry on Maryland texting and driving ban).

Still The Washington Post reported that Md. “failed to make the grade in five areas, four of them restrictions on teen drivers and the fifth a requirement for use of interlock devices by all offenders.” An interlock device is a handheld breath testing unit used to monitor whether drivers who have been charged with drunk driving — a main cause of fatal highway accidents in Maryland and around the country — are in fact under the influence when they attempt to start their vehicles. The device disables the car’s ignition if the driver does not exhale a sober breath sample.

With the holiday season in full swing, everyone is scrambling. There’s last-minute shopping, preparing for holiday parties and feasts, wrapping up year-end projects at work — and increased travel by air, rail, and road. Unfortunately, drunk driving car accidents are also part of the holiday picture in Maryland and around the country.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that state law enforcement across the country will be cracking down on drunk drivers this holiday season, with the “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign. People who overindulge in alcohol at family gatherings, work parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and other holiday get-togethers pose a risk of serious personal injury (including debilitating brain or spine injury) or death to themselves and others. Nationally, 13,470 people were killed in 2006 in alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Maryland Drunk Driving Statistics and Holiday Traffic Accidents

This Thanksgiving, as is the case every holiday season, law enforcement will be on the lookout to pull over speeders, reckless drivers, and drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers to prevent Maryland car accidents.

Though 2008 saw a decline in Thanksgiving travel, gas prices have stabilized to a level more drivers can live with, and the AAA predicts an uptick in holiday travel this year. That means more cars on Maryland’s roads and highways as people travel to and from our fair state to visit family. Other factors contributing to danger on Maryland roadways this holiday season:

> County and wildlife experts report that deer-vehicle collisions in Maryland occur in the thousands every year. Exact numbers are hard to gauge, as it’s unknown how many deer-car crashes occur that don’t get reported. Deer in the roadway are a concern for holiday drivers, particularly as dusk comes earlier with the days getting shorter, and animals are active at dawn and dusk.

The Baltimore Sun reports that city police are reviewing a 911 call placed shortly before a Johns Hopkins University student was killed in a fatal hit-run pedestrian accident in Baltimore City, Maryland.

On Friday Oct. 16, 2009, in the mid-afternoon, neuroscience student Miriam Frankl, age 20, was attempting to cross St. Paul Street at University Parkway when she was struck by a pickup truck. The driver in this fatal Baltimore City pedestrian – pickup truck accident fled the scene. Ms. Frankl suffered serious head wounds and died of her injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police later apprehended and charged Thomas Meighan Jr. of Carroll County, Maryland, in relation to the death of Ms. Frankl. News reports state that Mr. Meighan has a lengthy history of drunk driving traffic violations in Maryland, including another DUI hit-and-run arrest in Northwest Baltimore this past summer.

Baltimore City Police have questioned a Carroll County, Maryland man regarding a truck involved in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident that killed a Johns Hopkins University student. According to news reports, the 20-year-old victim was crossing the 3500 block of St. Paul Street at University Parkway when she was struck by a white Ford F-250 pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed. She later died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The vehicle involved in this Baltimore hit-run truck accident sped off, however a witness took down the Maryland license plate number. That and news reports informing the public to keep a lookout helped police locate the vehicle. Police have questioned but not arrested a Carroll County, Maryland man, who has a lengthy history of traffic offenses, including 4 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests going back to the mid-1990s.

The individual being questioned has another DUI trial coming up in Dec. for an incident that occurred in July. He is charged with multiple offenses, including reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death.

The Baltimore Sun reported that a driver was killed this weekend in a fatal hit-and-run Baltimore County car accident.

According to news reports, the fatal hit and run crash occurred Saturday night at 10 p.m. in Baltimore Highlands at the intersection of Virginia Ave. and Annapolis Rd. The suspect, who was driving a cargo van, allegedly fled the scene of the accident but was later apprehended by police and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver of the car that was struck by the van perished and a passenger suffered personal injury. The Sun reported that the driver was 20 years old and lived on Virginia Avenue, Baltimore. The suspect, age 54, is also from Baltimore.

Baltimore County accident lawyers are familiar with the many hazards of driving on Maryland’s roads and highways. Some regional statistics…