Stephen G. Smith, who was known as "Stash" on 98 Rock, pleaded guilty Monday morning to drunk-driving charges and was sentenced to six months in the Harford County Detention Center.
District Court Judge Susan Hazlett reduced the original one-year sentence after Smith's lawyer said Smith immediately took part in a 28-day alcohol treatment program and admits he has a drinking problem.
She also placed him on supervised probation and required him to abstain from alcohol.
Smith, a Bel Air resident, was involved in a three-car crash at Route 24 near the I-95 intersection July 22 that sent five people to the hospital with minor injuries.
As a result of the charges, he was fired from 98 Rock after more than 20 years working in radio.
On the night of July 22, Smith tried to throw a can of Four Loko, a controversial alcoholic beverage, out of his car and denied having alcohol in the car before eventually admitting to it, Assistant State's Attorney Trenna Manners said.
"What we have here is a string of horrific decision-making," Manners said, citing his traffic history, including 56 payable tickets and a marijuana arrest.
Hazlett called his record "lousy," noting 32 prior convictions for traffic offenses.
Smith's lawyer, Leonard Shapiro, said his client had done a lot of good in the community, including charity through the radio station, and is committed to turning his life around.
"He loved his job and a lot of people liked him and followed him," Shapiro said. "Whether he can resurrect that or not remains to be seen."
Kathy Cottrell, of Bel Air, said she could not work for five weeks after the accident and the financial burden has been "outrageous."
"I feel bad for his family, I really do. But I am also afraid that if he is allowed to be on the roads again, he could kill somebody," she said.
Hazlett said she did appreciate that Smith volunteered for the rehabilitation program and noted that Smith has benefited from "very good legal advice."
"In my experience in 22 years in the legal justice arena, sometimes it takes a while for someone to get it," Hazlett said. "I hope your family is safe and I hope you make better choices."
She also agreed to make him eligible for work release.
"Given the picture of this accident, you are very fortunate that no one was more seriously hurt. You are fortunate that you are here," she said. "You could have killed someone that night."
In March, Smith was found guilty in Harford County Circuit Court of speeding and fined $90.
In October 2011, Smith was charged in Baltimore County with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an unsafe vehicle on a highway, negligent driving and other offenses. He was found guilty of negligent driving and given probation before judgment on the driving while impaired charge. The other charges were dropped.
The Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff's Office have targeted the Route 24 corridor as part of a combined traffic enforcement initiative. The effort grew from an increase in crashes and reports of dangerous driving in the area.