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Designated driver at alcohol panel charged with DWI

An attendee at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving event has been charged with driving under the influence after an arrest in Maryland. The man, who had been chosen as a designated driver for a drunk driving forum, will be required to mount a DUI defense in the matter. The alleged drunk driver was charged with transporting another person to a MADD forum at which alcohol consumption was to be discussed.

The forum attendee was required to attend the victim impact panel because he had been convicted of a DUI charge in Worcester County.

Authorities say that the defendant smelled strongly of alcohol and also appeared visibly intoxicated when he arrived at the event. The man's blood alcohol content was measured at 0.15 percent, according to official reports. The BAC level at which drivers are considered intoxicated in Maryland is 0.08 percent.

Another man was located in the back of the vehicle with a cooler and an open can of beer, according to those investigators. That man was charged with alcohol-related violations. Further, the forum attendee, age 34, was arrested and charged with consuming alcohol on public property.

Officers and MADD representatives alike said they were disappointed in the driver and the forum attendee. Those individuals say that the defendants in this case showed disrespect to the spirit of the forum. The trio, accused of traveling to the event with a full cooler of beer in the back compartment of their vehicle, are accused of missing the whole point of the exercise. However, experts say that similar incidents have occurred in connection with past forums.

Criminal defendants who are facing DUI charges may receive a variety of sentencing options. In this case, the man was required to attend a victim impact panel as part of his court-ordered activities. The accused driver in this case may also be responsible for attending such events. A Maryland attorney may help those facing DUI charges learn more about their legal rights and options.

Source: The News Journal, "Md. Police: Designated driver was drunk at MADD event" Deborah Gates, Mar. 12, 2014

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