Posted On: July 30, 2009

New Law Will Make Maryland Parks Alcohol-Free This Fall

Cracking open a cold beer or relaxing with any other alcoholic beverage will be an illegal activity in Maryland state parks beginning this fall. This article which appeared recently on the website HometownAnnapolis.com claims that anyone violating this new Maryland law will face fines beginning on November 1, 2009. According to Maryland Park Service officials, the only place that alcoholic beverages will be allowed will be designated picnic shelters and only when someone has obtained a $35 permit from the park’s manager. If park officials catch someone with an alcoholic beverage anywhere beyond designated areas, they could receive a $55 fine.

Under current Maryland law, visitors to state parks can drink alcohol in motor homes, picnic shelters, campgrounds, and cabins without a permit. Under the new law, motor homes and full-service cabins will be exempt from enforcement of the alcohol ban. This new law represents an expansion of an alcohol ban that has been in place for many years which prohibited people from drinking alcohol on park beaches and grassy areas.

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Posted On: July 28, 2009

Maryland Traffic Policies Earn Place on “Worst of” List for Exploiting Drivers

The National Motorists Association salutes the beginning of the summer driving season with its annual list of the states with the best and worst motor vehicle laws for summer travelers. The news is not good for Maryland, which earned a number three spot on the worst list. Only New Jersey and Ohio have more driving laws and vehicle-related enforcement policies that are more slanted toward filling state coffers.

Some of the behaviors that give Maryland a bad name with summer travelers include policies that have been highly touted by public officials as part of their on-going (and some would argue politically motivated) fight against drunk driving.

Roadside sobriety checkpoints are a common sight during Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend. Public officials roll out plans for these sobriety roadblocks with great fanfare. From the officials’ point of view, a sobriety checkpoint represents the easiest way to prove to taxpayers that something is being done about drunk driving in Maryland.

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Posted On: July 23, 2009

Eastern Shore Homicide: Sailor Held without Bond

This Washington Post article reports that a man is being held without bond in connection with an alleged murder that occurred in June 2009. Law enforcement officials have charged a 28-year-old man with first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing his wife, a 26-year-old, to death and making up a story about her having been killed in a carjacking. Police say that the woman’s body was found beside a rural Kent County road on Friday, June 5, 2009, and the Kent County medical examiner ruled that her death was a homicide.

The accused husband is a member of the United States Navy assigned to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station when the alleged homicide took place. He told police that he and his wife were on their way back home from Brooklyn, N.Y., when they were carjacked on the New Jersey Turnpike. Law enforcement officials charged him with causing his wife’s death when they found inconsistencies in his account of the carjacking. Maryland State Police found the couple’s car in the District of Columbia and recovered evidence that implicated the accused in the killing of his wife.

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Posted On: July 21, 2009

Maryland Man and South Carolina Woman Face Drug Trafficking Charges

An article published in North Carolina's Davidson County Dispatch on May 14, 2009 reports that a Maryland man and a South Carolina woman were taken into custody by North Carolina authorities recently on drug trafficking charges. Each is being held in the Davidson County, North Carolina jail on $1 million bonds for allegedly trafficking drugs on Interstate 85. The drug trafficking arrests were made when a Davidson County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled over a Honda Accord with Maryland license plates near mile marker 100 on Interstate 85 for following another vehicle too closely.

A K-9 drug sniffing dog scanned the Accord and alerted the deputy to the presence of drugs. The deputy then conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle. In the process of searching the vehicle, the deputy found 10 pounds of marijuana in the trunk. The woman of Rock Hill, SC was driving the Accord when the arrest was made, and she faces charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of maintaining a vehicle for trafficking marijuana and two counts of trafficking marijuana.

The 23-year-old passenger in the Accord of Mechanicsville, MD faces charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of trafficking marijuana.

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Posted On: July 16, 2009

Annapolis Rape: Man Arrested for 2000 Incident

On May 16, 2009, the Annapolis newspaper, The Capital, published an article about an Annapolis man arrested for his involvement in a rape that occurred on August 26, 2000, in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Annapolis. The State’s Attorney’s Office said that evidence from DNA testing led to the arrest of a 26-year-old man from Annapolis. As law enforcement officials staked out the man’s place of employment to take him into custody, he apparently turned himself in at police headquarters. Charges against him include first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, use of a handgun in a crime of violence and related charges not outlined in the article.

If a jury convicts him on all charges, the rape and sex offense convictions could result in life sentences, and the other charges could result in imprisonment for 20 to 30 years each. When the alleged crimes were committed, the accused was under 18 years old and a Maryland sex crime lawyer could appeal to have the case heard in juvenile court. However, under Maryland law, a defendant is automatically charged as an adult if they are older than 16 when the crime allegedly occurred and when they are charged with first-degree rape.

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Posted On: July 14, 2009

Maryland DUI Accident Tragically Kills Teen

A 16-year-old boy was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle recently while he attempted to cross Route 50 in West Ocean City. An official from the Maryland State Police said that the teen was struck and killed just west of the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge sometime during the evening on May 16, 2009. The article about the Maryland DUI was recently published in the Baltimore Sun and reports that the teen was with a group of friends when he ran across the westbound lanes of Route 50 and made it to the median when he was hit by a Jeep Wrangler.

He was taken to Atlantic General Hospital where he died from his injuries. Law enforcement officials investigating the Maryland DUI accident say that the Jeep’s driver was a 29-year-old man from Massapequa Park, N.Y. He has been charged with driving under the influence and driving while impaired. The teen has been identified and is from Ocean Pines. The principal of Stephen Decatur High School told investigators that the teen was a sophomore at the school.

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