The consequences associated with driving an automobile after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol are wide-reaching and, sometimes, even lethal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 alone, over 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. According to WUSA9, one drunk driving-related crash that occurred last month in Waldorf, MD did not lead to any deaths, but it did result in injuries to several people — including two police officers — as well as extensive property damage to the vehicles.
The incident occurred on Feb. 22, around 1:41 a.m., when 24-year-old Marquis D’Angelo Hagens’ vehicle allegedly struck three separate cars. All three vehicles, which included two police vehicles, were parked on the side of the road at the time of the collision. The officers at the site of the crash had already stopped one suspected drunk driver, 40-year-old Erick Wayne Carter, and had him sitting in the back of the first patrol vehicle. Hagens’ automobile first struck the rearmost patrol car, before slamming into the front police car and before colliding with Carter’s vehicle. Hagens’ vehicle continued on, until it crashed into a ditch.
Officers said Hagens was emitting a strong odor of alcohol and also described Hagens as combative. According to police reports, Hagens allegedly tried to resist arrest, though he was quickly subdued by authorities at the scene.
Both the officers and the two drivers — including Hagens — were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center. There was also a passenger in Hagens’ vehicle who refused medical treatment. And both patrol cars were disabled because of the collision.
The charges brought against Hagens are numerous and include driving under the influence (DUI), driving with a suspended license, and failure to drive right of center. His case is currently pending trial.
In the state of Maryland, drunk driving offenses are taken very seriously. Being charged with a DUI could lead to jail time, heavy fines, points on your license, and license suspension. The list of negative consequences associated with drunk driving is endless. However, there is another factor to consider when talking about people who drink and drive: alcohol misuse and abuse. Many times drivers who drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car are battling inner demons, possibly without even realizing the extent of their intoxication. Alcohol addiction is a disease and as such it requires detection in order to be treated. Perhaps in the case of Marquis D’Angelo Hagens, there were alcohol abuse-related issues that were not detectable at the time of the crash but that could have been identified later with the help of medical professionals.
Many people who misuse or abuse alcohol don’t realize the extent of their problem until they’re involved in just such an incident. Being charged with a DUI, or similar alcohol or drug-related offenses, can serve as a wake-up call for drivers who are unintentionally using alcohol to self-medicate for their other issues. The Maryland DUI attorneys at our firm recognize that people make mistakes and that people with alcohol dependencies need treatment. If you are charged with DUI or a similar offense, they will fight to protect your rights and to give you the opportunity to get the help you need. Call, (301) 761-4842 or (410) 734-2675 for a no-cost case consultation.