It seems that we cannot get away from the latest spate of drunken driving-related traffic accidents. While it is a forgone conclusion that driving while impaired by alcohol, prescription medication or illicit drugs can get a person arrested and charged with DWI or DUI, a percentage of passenger car drivers, commercial truckers and even motorcycle riders will kill someone or be killed themselves for their indiscretion.
Operating a motor vehicle, in the eyes of the law is not a right, but a privilege that we as motorists are granted by means of state licensing. We can only continue to exercise our driving privileges by showing competency on state licensing exams and by obeying Maryland’s traffic laws. Two many violations or other charges — such as drunken driving convictions or car accidents — and a person risks losing their driver’s license; in some cases this is blessing, especially in the case of people who demonstrate that they don’t know enough to stay off the road when inebriated.
As Maryland automobile accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys, we have seen far too many victims of drinking and driving to be in any way understanding to those who chose to drive drunk and then injure, maim or kill another innocent person. Anyone who reads the news on a regular basis will likely agree that, on the face of it, drunk drivers who cause accidents seem to walk away with nary a scratch, while their victims are rarely as lucky.
Being caught for driving under the influence is one way that a bad driver may be taken off the road, if only for a short period of time. Others, who may cause serious injury to one or more people, may be held to account for their actions. In the end, the cost of being permanently disabled by a drunk driver is likely far worse than most any punishment that the law can inflict back on a negligent motorist.
According to a recent news article, the victim of a head-on crash caused by a reported drunken driver was in serious condition, while the man who caused it all was treated and released from the hospital, only to be arrested by police and charged with numerous traffic violations. Based on police reports, the accident in question occurred in the early morning hours of May 22 along a stretch of Rte 50.
Based on reports, 24-year-old Ryan John, was driving his Honda Civic eastbound in the westbound middle lane of Rte 50 just before 5am when his vehicle hit a Kia passenger vehicle head-on not far from the Bay Dale Road overpass. According to Baltimore County police at the time of the article, charges had yet to be filed against the Greenbelt, MD, resident for his part in the crash.
Both John and the Kia’s driver — 23-year-old Michael Gurd of Bethesda, MD — had to be cut out of their respective vehicles by emergency rescue crews following the collision. The two men were both transported by Maryland State Police helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. John was reportedly treated and released, while Mr. Gurd remained at the center and was listed in serious condition.
Although no charges were announced at the time of news report, the initial police investigation indicated that John was likely at fault. Police did say that the crash appeared to have been caused by negligent and wreckless driving, with driver error and alcohol use likely contributors to the head-on wreck.
Wrong-way driver in Route 50 crash, HometownAnnapolis.com, May 22, 2011