Maryland State Delegate Don Dwyer charged with DUI - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Maryland State Delegate Don Dwyer charged with DUI

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Maryland State Delegate Don Dwyer (Anne Arundel County Police Department) Maryland State Delegate Don Dwyer (Anne Arundel County Police Department)
ANNAPOLIS, Md -

The Maryland State Delegate who pleaded guilty earlier to operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol was arrested early Tuesday for driving his car under the influence of alcohol.

At least one fellow Republican is calling on Del. Don Dwyer, Jr. to resign from the state legislature.

Anne Arundel County Delegate Don Dwyer, one year ago this week, was involved in a very serious boating accident on Sillery Bay -- an accident that fractured the skull of a five-year-old girl.

Dwyer pleaded guilty to operating his boat under the influence of alcohol, but unhappy with an ordered 30-day jail term, he is in the process of appealing that sentence.

Shortly after midnight, an Anne Arundel County police officer spotted Dwyer's Cadillac "swerving abruptly," driving at 70 miles per hour (in a 55 mph zone), and swerving onto the road's shoulder on about four occasions, according to charging documents. Two police officers at the traffic stop smelled alcohol. One noticed the Delegate's eyes were "red and glossy and his face was flushed," and Dwyer's speech was slow and slurred. The police reports state Dwyer failed three field sobriety tests.

"I know that the driver indicated that he had come from a tavern, and according to the driver, he said he had two beers," county police spokesperson Justin Mulcahy told reporters.

Police say Delegate Dwyer refused to take a Breathalyzer test to establish the level of alcohol in the system. Dwyer was charged with driving under the influence and a host of traffic violations.

Voters in Dwyer's district expressed extreme disappointment.

"He should resign," declared Brian Andrews, who said in the past, he has voted for Dwyer. "We can do better ... He's obviously got a problem."

A commissioner has released Dwyer on the delegate's own recognizance.

"I'm just shocked," said Deborah Winehold, who lives in the same neighborhood as Dwyer. "Not shocked that he's drinking. I'm not [even] shocked that he ... got caught again. But I'm shocked he's not in jail."

Barbara Harbin watched the DUI boating accident that fractured the skull of her (then) five-year-old granddaughter 363 days ago.

"I just can't believe he got behind a wheel again," said Harbin, shaking her head. "That just really poor judgment. And I don't understand.”

Delegate Dwyer did not respond to knocks at his door, telephone messages or an email. He remains in the legislature, but is losing support. Fellow Anne Arundel County Republican Ron George told us in an interview: "Out of concern for constituents of his, out of concern for other people’s safety, out of concern for Don Dwyer himself, I am asking for his resignation."

Maryland's GOP leadership is not calling for Dwyer's resignation, but members issued a statement saying they are "deeply troubled."

House Speaker Michael Busch (D) issued a statement calling Dwyer's conduct "unbecoming of a legislator," but noting that Dwyer's standing as a member of the legislature "has not changed."

In Maryland, refusing a breathalyzer test means an automatic 90-day suspension of a person's driver’s license, pending a hearing at the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Dwyer's appeal of the DUI boat sentencing is scheduled on October 25.


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