When it comes to sentencing guidelines for a person who kills someone while driving under the influence of alcohol, attorneys on both sides of the courtroom agree there is a balancing act judges have to handle
According to Maryland code, homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol per se carries a maximum penalty of $5,000 and imprisonment up to five years for the first offense. A second offense bumps the maximum up to 10 years and $10,000. Homicide by motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol carries a maximum of three years on the first offense, five if it's the second or more offense.
Those are the maximums. Sentencing is decided by a judge, who can choose to impose far less than the maximum, and while a prosecutor and defense attorney might agree to a sentence, most pleas are nonbinding.
A recent case that brought sentencing for DUI homicide to the public's attention was one involving Michele Seibel, who received no active incarceration after she pleaded guilty last month to two counts of homicide by motor vehicle for driving after drinking and crashing into a car, killing two, in February 2016.