Mayhem on the Highway: What Can Get You in Trouble on the RoadMany drivers do all sorts of maneuvers that just seem unbelievable to other drivers on the road. In many cases, it is just sheer luck that an accident or a fatality doesn’t occur. If the police observe these reckless actions, it’s a good bet that the officer will throw the book at the driver, charging them with as many traffic violations as possible. They may also be charged with misdemeanors or even felonies – especially if someone is injured.

So let’s take a look at some of that mayhem today, huh? We want you to be prepared for the world of crap you might face if you get busted for any of these dopey driving maneuvers.

What are the consequences for excessive speeding?

Almost every driver goes over the speed limit at some time. Drivers may speed because everyone else around them is speeding, so going too slow would be dangerous. Everyone gets preoccupied now and then, with thinking about work or singing the lyrics to their favorite song, that they drive too fast. These causes for speeding are expected.

What’s not expected and what’s downright dangerous, is traveling 25 or 50 mph over the speed limit. Drivers who slam the accelerator on highways or country roads are just begging to be stopped by the local police.

A speeding ticket in Maryland is a $90 fine and one point on your license. Here’s how it breaks down based on how fast you were going over the speed limit:

  • 1-9 mph over: $80 fine and one point on your license.
  • 10-19 mph over: $90 fine and two points on your license.
  • 20-29 mph over: $160 fine and two points on your license on your license.
  • 30-39 mph over: $290 fine and five points on your license.
  • at least 40 mph over: $530 fine and five points on your license.

It also changes based on what the speed limit is:

  • Going 65-75 miles per hour by 10-19 mph over: $160 fine and two points on your license.
  • Going 65-75 miles per hour by 20-29 mph over: $290 fine and five points on your license.

What is reckless driving?

Under the law:

  1. A person is guilty of reckless driving if he drives a motor vehicle:
    1. In wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
    2. In a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.
  2. A person is guilty of negligent driving if he drives a motor vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life or person of any individual.

The fine can be up to $1000, and the ticket comes with 6 points on your license.

What is aggressive driving?

Aggressive driving is a one-two-three punch, because you can ONLY be charged with aggressive driving if you’re accused of violating three or more of the following rules of the road:

  • Anything to do with traffic lights with steady indication
  • Overtaking and passing vehicles
  • Passing on right
  • Driving on laned roadways
  • Following too closely
  • Failing to yield right-of-way
  • Exceeding a maximum speed limit or posted maximum speed limit

Most of these are misdemeanors, but the points, fines, and penalties add up.

How bad is drunk driving?

Bad! A DUI charge one can get you in SERIOUS trouble. A driver who drives under the influence (DUI) or drives while impaired (DWI) doesn’t have control of his/her vehicle. Intoxicated drivers have been known to all sorts of dangerous things such as swerving in and out of lanes, speeding, running through red lights, crossing over into oncoming traffic, and even going down and up-ramp. You can be charged with:

Other dangerous driving behaviors

Not all terrible driving behaviors are illegal, per se, but that doesn’t mean you’re home free. The following actions may not have their own statutes, but engaging in them can lead to other “ticket-able” offenses, so to speak, so be careful:

  • Driving while distracted. Distracted drivers may be more likely to cross into other lanes, hit other cars or stationary objects, or go the wrong way. If the police are nearby, they can easily see that you’re using your phone, BTW, and you will get a ticket for that.
  • Driving while fatigued. Tired drivers are dangerous drivers. They may drive too fast or too slow, swerve from lane to lane, or fall asleep and crash into something.

The police are on the lookout for any type of traffic violation. They are especially likely to notice and stop you if you:

·       Cut in front of other drivers

·       Repeatedly shift lanes

·       Pass another driver on the shoulder

·       Drive the wrong way

·       Run through a stop sign

·       Make improper U-turns

·       Fail to put your headlights on

·       Fail to use your turn signal

·       Confront other drivers in a rage

·       Slam on your brakes

·       Engage in street racing

·       Fail to stop for a school bus

·       Drive with too many passengers

Almost any one of the things on the list can get you a ticket – maybe even get you several tickets. So really, it’s better to just stay home if you’re not in the right frame of mind to drive.

At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we have 20 years of experience handling the tough cases – including driver mayhem cases. We fight aggressively to hold the prosecution to its burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re facing a traffic violation in Annapolis or Ellicott City, an attorney from our firm is ready to help.  If you’ve been charged with any traffic violation or arrested for any vehicular offense, call us today. You can make an appointment by calling 410-271-1892 or filling out our contact form.

And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.