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Dwyer Sponsors Bills That Would Stiffen Lawmaker DUI Sentences

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Don Dwyer
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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Delegate Don Dwyer wants to crack down on drunk lawmakers.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports Dwyer, who is serving 30 weekends for DUI, says jail time should be mandatory for any elected official convicted of drunk driving.

Out of the statehouse and into the jailhouse. That’s where lawmakers convicted of drunk driving belong, says Delegate Don Dwyer. Dwyer was convicted for a boating accident on the Magothy River in August 2012. Seven people were injured, including Dwyer, and he was also arrested last year for drunk driving.

First, he was tried in the court of public opinion.

“He needs to just step down; that’s all there is to it,” said one voter.

“First time, shame on you; second time, shame on me,” said another.

“Any time you’re a public figure, you shouldn’t be doing anything stupid like that,” a voter said.

And then he was tried in court, sentenced to rehab and jail time. He believes that should be applied to elected officials at the state level.

“In my case, the court recognized, the public recognized, members of the legislature recognized and political leaders recognized that as members of the General Assembly, we should be held to a higher standard. I don’t disagree with that. I can tell you both professionally and personally, that I benefited from every sentence that was handed down to me,” Dwyer said.

So out of concern for the public and for the benefit of his colleagues, Dwyer is proposing lawmakers pass a bill imposing mandatory minimum sentences on themselves.

Baltimore Delegate Curt Anderson is on the House Judiciary Committee.

“Every case is different. What what you do for one case may be totally inappropriate for another case,” Anderson said. “We want to leave that discretion with the judges.”

Dwyer is sponsoring another bill that requires lawmakers jailed for any offense to be removed from office.

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