Ocean City DUI Prosecution
The following is taken from an interview with an Ocean City DUI lawyer as they discuss how charges of driving under the influence are treated by prosecutors and judges in Ocean City, Maryland. For legal assistance with you case, call and schedule a free consultation today.
Are Ocean City DUI Cases Prosecuted Vigorously?
Yes, they absolutely are. The Worcester County State Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of DUI cases. In keeping with that environment of maintaining a safe family friendly tourist location, the Worcester County State Attorney’s Office very aggressively prosecutes DUI cases. That is done in an attempt to discourage other people from having too much to drink and getting behind the wheel of a car and driving in Ocean City and it’s done to punish people who made that choice.
What Does a Prosecutor Needs To Prove in An Ocean City DUI Case?
The prosecutor is going to have to prove that the defendant was driving or operating a motor vehicle at the time and that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol at that time that the defendant was operating the vehicle. In order to prove that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol, the state would have to prove that alcohol had substantially impaired the driver’s normal coordination.
This typically is proven by the officer testifying to the officer’s observations of the driver. The officer can testify to what they observed the driver doing, which means that they can testify if the driver was making any traffic violations or seemed to not be able to safely operate the motor vehicle for example. The officer can testify to everything that was observed.
The officer will also ask the driver to submit to standardized field sobriety test. Those tests are specifically created in order to test a person’s normal coordination and so, if a driver submits to field sobriety tests, the officer will be able to testify to his observations of how the driver did on those tests. Additionally, then the state can introduce a breath test result and in Maryland if the driver blows a .08 or greater, then the court, based on that breath test alone, could find the driver guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.
What Makes Ocean City DUI Cases Unique?
What makes them different from other counties or locations in the State of Maryland is that Ocean City is striving very hard to maintain a safe environment for families to come to Ocean City for vacation and have a safe family friendly place to relax. In order to do that, Ocean City is very aggressive about the enforcement of the traffic laws and the criminal laws.
Ocean City has several taxi services which have been certified by the city and they encourage anyone to use the taxis instead of driving. Ocean City also provides a public transportation system of buses which are very cheap to ride. These buses are accessible from many stops along Coastal Highway.
Ocean City feels like they are providing many safe alternatives to getting behind the wheel of a car and driving. If a driver does not take advantage of those alternatives, they will be aggressively prosecuted for getting behind the wheel of a car and driving if they have had too much to drink.
The police officers will literally park outside of the bars and clubs in Ocean City at the end of the night and when those clubs and bars are emptying out, Ocean City law enforcement is right there and they will pull a vehicle over very quickly if they suspect that the person has had too much to drink and is driving a car.
Where Are DUI Cases Heard In Ocean City?
If the traffic stop occurred within the city limits of Ocean City, then the DUI case will be heard at the district court located in Ocean City on 65th St. If the traffic stop occurred outside of the city limits of Ocean City, then the case is heard in the district court located in Snow Hill which is about thirty minutes west of Ocean City.