7226 Lee Deforest DR #207
Columbia, MD 21046
Why Isn’t It Legal To Punch People In The Face – Just A Little Bit?
Hopefully I got your attention with the above tremendously stupid question. It is not legal to punch someone in the face a little bit because it would invite mass chaos. Plus, a “little bit” is too hard to define. Let’s say for the sake of argument that “a little bit” was defined as, “just not hard enough to knock them out.” You would have to take into consideration how hard you hit, how soft the other person’s jaw is, how big you are, how big they are, where on the jaw you are hitting them, etc. While I personally would love to punch numerous people a little bit, the Assault laws in Maryland make it clear that any unwarranted touching is illegal. In fact, even threatening to hit someone, if you have the ability to do, is Assault in Maryland. Most people know this rule and because of it refrain from touching other people in threatening ways. The law is clear – black and white. It’s a good law and easily understood.
So now, let’s take a look at something even more insane than the title of this article and the notion of making it legal to assault people. It is legal in Maryland, and in every other State in the good old US of A, to drink and drive “a little bit.” Yes, “a little bit” is hard to define. The Maryland legislature has determined that up to .05 BAC is a “little bit” and legal. However, a .07 BAC can land one in the slammer for up to sixty days. This means that two more sips can take a person from legally driving to JAIL. Insane right? It is rarely ever advertised that the legal limit is .07 not .08, which even further exacerbates the problem.
Doesn’t making it legal to drink and drive “a little bit” invite mass chaos? OF COURSE IT DOES! Doesn’t it invite people to make a simple miscalculation and face jail time? OF COURSE IT DOES! Why then would the legislature do this? In my opinion, the answer is simple – DUI litigation simply brings too much money to the State to make it black and white and put a stop to fairly innocent people being trapped.
Allow me to expand: A large portion of our DUI clients are law-abiding citizens who thought it was legal to go out and have a glass of wine or a few beers and drive home. The reason they thought this is because it is quite possibly legal to have a glass of wine or a few beers and be in compliance with Maryland law. After all, to some people this is “a little bit.” Had they been advised that even a single drink could be illegal, they probably never ever would have attempted to drive.
The legislature has drafted a statute that gives people the false sense that some alcohol before driving is legal. This false sense contributes to a large number of first time DUI offenses statewide. Why else, besides to trap otherwise law-abiding citizens and raise revenue, would the legislature make small amounts of alcohol legal instead of none at all, i.e., making it legal to punch someone just not hard enough to knock them out.
To rehash, if the law was changed to state that NO ALCOHOL was legal when behind the wheel, then many people would choose to have nothing to drink before driving – significantly reducing the amount of DUI-related incidents. On the other hand, Maryland residents are led to believe that some alcohol behind the wheel is legal, which it technically is. The legislature is giving people enough rope to hang themselves and essentially asking them to determine if they are intoxicated when they are intoxicated – this is absurd, insane, craziness! In the end, it is no different than making it legal to assault people a little bit.
This article serves as my warning that drinking before driving in Maryland, even in minute amounts, can lead to a serious jailable charge of Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence. To avoid serious charges, no alcohol should be consumed before driving; thus, keeping drivers safe and, in turn, hampering the influx of revenue attained from uninformed drivers being arrested and charged with clearly avoidable conduct.
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