MARYLAND

Don Dwyer arrested for driving under the influence

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PASADENA, Md. (WJLA) - Maryland Del. Don Dwyer, the state politician who pleaded guilty after crashing a boat in the Magothy River while drunk last year, was arrested overnight for driving under the influence.

Don Dwyer is currenetly appealing a 30-day jail sentence from a 2012 drunk boat crash. Photo: Anne Arundel County Police

An Anne Arundel County Police spokesman says that Dwyer, the 55-year-old Annapolis resident who represents Maryland's 31st District in the House of Delegates, was taken into custody early Tuesday morning on Route 100 near Edwin Raynor Boulevard in Pasadena.

“The officer approached the vehicle and immediately smelled alcohol coming from the driver based on that some slurred speech and red eyes there was reasonable suspicion there,” says Justin Mulcahy, spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police. “Field sobriety tests the driver failed.”

Authorities say that a patrol officer spotted Dwyer's car, which bears House of Delegates tags, driving erratically Route 100 just before 12:45 a.m.

After he was pulled over, the Delegate failed each of the three sobriety tests he was given. Dwyer told the arresting officer that he was going home from a bar in Baltimore and had earlier consumed two beers.

Dwyer didn't answer repeated knocks on his door Tuesday as ABC7 sought comment from the politician.

Dwyer was sentenced in May to 30 days in jail several months after he crashed his boat last Aug. 22. Nine people, including several children, were seriously injured in the crash.

The Delegate admitted the next day that his blood-alcohol level was 0.24 at the time of the crash, three times the legal limit. After pleading guilty, Dwyer said that he was grateful to be working through an alcohol treatment program.

Dwyer is now awaiting an October sentencing date for the boat crash. Mark Harbin was piloting the boat Dwyer hit.

“He should have learned something then and this goes to show he really still hasn't,” Harbin says.

Dwyer has served Maryland's 31st District since 2003. Once an obscure politician, Dwyer gained notice in recent years by speaking out against same sex marriage and expanded rights for undocumented immigrants.

As word spread about his drunk driving arrest, his neighbors were eager to speak.

“I’m embarrassed to say I was born and raised in the state he's representing,” says Tracey Betters. 

Dwyer remains a Maryland delegate but he is now hearing calls for his resignation.

“I could imagine that he could or should but I don't think he will,” Betters says.

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