Dwyer to present bill on drunk driving

Del. Don H. Dwyer Jr., convicted twice of alcohol-related offenses in the last two years, will present a bill to a House committee Wednesday that would require mandatory minimum sentences similar to the one he is serving for officials convicted of drunk driving.

Dwyer, an Anne Arundel County Republican, was sentenced last October to spend 30 weekends in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center after he was convicted of drunk driving. Earlier he had been convicted of drunken boating after a 2012 crash that left six people injured.

The legislation Dwyer is proposing would require that high-ranking public officials be sentenced to 60 days or 30 weekends for drunk-driving violations -- even on a first offense. The measure would also require the official to undergo both inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehabilitation programs and to have an ignition interlock system installed is his or her vehicle for 18 months.

The measure would apply to the governor and other statewide elected officials, members of the General Assembly, judges, state's attorneys and sheriffs. Other provisions would bar convicted officials from entering an establishment that serves alcohol or attending a political event where alcohol is present for three years.

Dwyer said he expects to be the only witness to testify for the bill before the House Judiciary Committee. Early in the current legislative session, Dwyer was stripped of all committee assignments as a result of his second offense. After his first offense he was removed from the Judiciary Committee, which hears drunk driving bills, and assigned to the Ways and Means Committee.

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