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National efforts to stop Maryland's drive-up alcohol sales

There are probably more than a few people in Maryland who have been to a restaurant or store that allows for drive-up alcohol sales. Because Maryland is one of only 23 states that allow businesses to sell packaged alcohol through drive-up windows, there is considerable scrutiny surrounding the process. There have also been many who say that this kind of behavior contributes to drunk driving.

One federal senator even went so far as to propose an amendment to a federal bill that would outlaw the practice, but it ultimately failed. On the other end of the debate, many people feel that those people who are going to get dangerously intoxicated and then drive under the influence of alcohol would do so with or without access to drive-up alcohol.

And that seems to be exactly what happened in a January 2009 crash. A driver had purchased a 30-pack of beer and ostensibly drank it all before driving to a drive-up convenience store. He then purchased another 30-pack before getting into a fatal car accident shortly thereafter. When police tested his blood, he had a blood-alcohol content that was over two times the legal limit.

To lump everyone who uses drive-up stores and restaurants that serve alcohol in Maryland with that driver and others like him is inaccurate. Just because someone bought alcohol from a drive-up store doesn't mean that he or she is going to drink to excess in the car or get extremely drunk at home and then get in the car later. Rather, many of the people who purchase alcohol this way will likely never injure anyone in a drunk driving accident.

Source: USA Today, "Concern over drive-up alcohol sales spurs efforts at ban," July 10, 2012

Part of our practice deals with driving under the influence of alcohol in Maryland and more information can be found on our website.

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