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Maryland Senate passes Gov. Hogan's bill to stiffen sentences for repeat drunk drivers

Gov. Larry Hogan hugs Susan Shah-Blake after she talks about her father Dr. Saleem Alam Shah, who was killed by an impaired driver 25 years ago. The 14th annual Maryland Remembers Memorial for families who have lost loved ones due to an impaired driver was in December.
Gov. Larry Hogan hugs Susan Shah-Blake after she talks about her father Dr. Saleem Alam Shah, who was killed by an impaired driver 25 years ago. The 14th annual Maryland Remembers Memorial for families who have lost loved ones due to an impaired driver was in December. (Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette)

The Maryland Senate unanimously passed Gov. Larry Hogan’s legislation Thursday that seeks to impose harsher sentences on drunk drivers who have been previously convicted of three or more similar offenses.

The measure now goes to the House, where an identical bill has yet to receive a committee vote.

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The bill, sponsored by the Hogan administration, would increase the maximum penalty for an offender with a fourth or subsequent conviction to 10 years and a fine of $10,000. It would take into account a variety of prior offenses, including drugged driving and operating a motor vessel while intoxicated as well as drunk driving.

Under current law, the maximum penalty is three years and a $3,000 fine, with the possibility of another year and $1,000 if a minor is present in the vehicle during the offense.

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