Things could have ended differently for a 27-year-old Maryland man who was charged with driving under the influence and drug possession based on an Aug. 28 accident. According to sources, the defendant was offered a plea deal for pleading guilty to the charges, and a judge recently sentenced him to six months in jail, followed by a home detention program.
The DUI and drug charges followed a fatal incident involving the defendant and a bicyclist. Reports show that the defendant and the bicyclist were both out on the road late on a rainy night. The defendant hit the bicyclist with his car, an accident that the defense argues occurred because of limited visibility and because the biker recklessly rode right in front of the defendant's vehicle.
When area police arrived at the scene of the crash, they reported that they believed the defendant was intoxicated, and they had him perform sobriety tests at the scene. He also submitted to a breathalyzer test, and he blew under the legal limit. The police did not ask for a blood test, a detail that led the prosecution in this DUI case to believe that they lacked necessary evidence against the defendant.
The prosecution believes that though the defendant was not legally drunk at the time of the crash, he could have been under the influence of drugs. Police reportedly found heroine on him after the crash, which if he had used that prior to driving, could have altered his driving competency. The defense insists, however, that the accident was not a result of driving under the influence.
Despite either argument, the fact is that no blood test was taken from the defendant following the accident; therefore, speculation regarding his drug use has no bearing on the case. The prosecution was willing to go along with the settlement because they knew that they had a compromised case against the defendant, who has apologized to the families involved in the incident.
Howard County Times, exploreHoward.com: Driver gets six months in Howard County accident that killed teenager (9/28/2010)