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Maryland judge hands down stiff sentence to underage DUI driver

Sometimes young people don't realize the consequences of their actions until someone gets hurt or killed. This was the case for a 20-year-old man who accidentally killed three high school classmates while driving drunk last May after leaving a party.

The defendant pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter by a motor vehicle, and one count of leaving the scene of a crash involving a death. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with 20 of those years suspended, which means he may spend the next 20 years in prison.

He was also ordered to serve five years' probation and attend five Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week throughout the probation period. In addition to the probation, his vehicle will also have an interlock device installed.

In general, this case highlights the fact that a Maryland DUI arrest can have very real and serious consequences.

For this young man, he may now end up serving time behind bars until he is 40 years old. However, while his sentence has already been handed down, keep in mind that there are often times defense options when it comes to a drunk driving arrest, which could result in more favorable outcomes. Because of this, whether you are simply arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, or are facing more serious charges related to an alleged DUI crash, it's best to talk with an attorney to make sure that your rights are protected.

Source: WTOP, "Md. Judge issues stiff sentence for fatal drunk driving; 'This must stop,'" Jan. 6, 2012

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