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I am a lifelong resident of Carroll County. I am not a criminal, nor have I been a victim of any crimes, so I pay very little attention to our local criminal justice system. I have been shocked to learn, through the articles and opinions that have been generated and printed during this election year, that it is now basically legal to drive a vehicle under the influence of any kind of drug you want in Carroll County.

Thanks to State's Attorney candidate Brian DeLeonardo, specially trained police officers known as Drug Recognition Experts are no longer allowed to testify in court that a driver is too high on drugs to safely drive a vehicle. So they get pulled over for being all over the road, or for hitting something, or God forbid injuring another person, but they can't be convicted of driving under the influence because some high paid, fast talking defense attorney convinced a judge that the experts aren't really experts.

I googled it. These experts have been used in courts all over America, including in all Maryland counties, for decades. But now, thanks to DeLeonardo, they can't be used in Carroll County. I and my children are driving on the roads with people high on marijuana, heroin, cocaine and God knows what other types of drugs, and there is nothing law enforcement can do about it.

My sister is a prosecutor, so when I heard about this I called her. She said that a year or two ago she was at a drunk driving training with prosecutors from all over Maryland, sponsored by an association of Maryland prosecutors, and they were shocked by what happened in Carroll County. And even worse, when our local State's Attorney's office went to Annapolis to restore the program, DeLeonardo testified against it.

I don't know Jerry Barnes or Brian Deleonardo, and I admit I am no expert on our local justice system, but it doesn't take a genius to know that putting a high paid defense attorney in charge of prosecuting crimes in Carroll County is a recipe for disaster.

James Johnson

Eldersburg

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