Reporting Alex DeMetrick
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland lawmaker is going to jail. Anne Arundel County Del. Don Dwyer is sentenced for two alcohol-related arrests.
Alex DeMetrick was in court when the sentence was imposed.
Dwyer is looking at 60 days behind bars for two alcohol-related incidents and maybe as much as a year if he goes anywhere near alcohol.
When Dwyer’s boat collided with another on the Magothy River near his home in August 2012, seven people were hurt, including broken bones and a concussion to a 5-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother.
Dwyer admitted to having a blood alcohol limit of .20, more than twice the legal limit.
“It is true I was drinking while operating my boat yesterday,” he said after the accident.
Dwyer originally entered a plea deal of guilty but had no jail time. But a judge ruled that as a lawmaker, Dwyer should be held to a higher standard and sentenced him to 30 days in jail.
Dwyer withdrew his plea and appealed to the Circuit Court.
The judge sentenced Dwyer on Friday to 30 days in jail on weekends — Friday through Sunday — for the boat charge.
This year, in August, Dwyer was stopped for drunk driving on Route 100 near Pasadena.
A police report says he failed field sobriety tests.
Friday in court, Dwyer pleaded guilty Friday to driving while intoxicated in that incident and was sentenced to an additional 30 days in jail on weekends.
The sentences will be served consecutively and begin Nov. 9.
“Bare minimum of a sentence compared to what he deserves,” said Mark Harbin, grandfather of the injured children in the boating accident.
Harbin was piloting the other boat that collided with Dwyer’s. Harbin’s grandchildren were on board. In court, Dwyer’s lawyers said it was Harbin’s fault the accident happened.
“To be at speed, to be drunk and not even watching where you’re going seems to me to be a crime,” Harbin said,
“It would have been much more for him to acknowledge and apologize instead of denying. Acknowledge what happened instead of denying. If he had not been on the water drunk, the accident probably wouldn’t have happened,” said Anastasia Moore, mother of the injured children.
“Once you’re willing to admit you’re an alcoholic, it’s not something that goes away. It’s something you deal with for the rest of your life,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer’s efforts to do that helped keep his jail time down.
“He will take Judge Plitt’s words and put them into action by making sure that he remains sober for the rest of his life,” said David Fisher, Dwyer’s lawyer.
For at least the next three years he’s on probation.
The judge ordered him to stay out of any place that serves or sells alcohol. If Dwyer steps inside, the judge says he will sentence him to a year in jail.
Dwyer will be allowed to serve his time on weekends beginning next month. He must also continue to use an alcohol sensor tied into his car’s ignition.
As for his political future, Dwyer’s lawyer says his client has plans to continue serving out his term as a delegate to Anne Arundel County.
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