Driving while intoxicated would become a felony after a third offense in Maryland under leglislation proposed on Jan. 22 by Gov. Larry Hogan.
The legislation promises stiff financial penalties and could serve as a deterrent to repeat offenders. It has been introduced as Senate Bill 296 and House Bill 349.
Under current Maryland law, a person found guilty after three of more DUIs would only serve a maximum of three years in prison, reports ABC News.
If the new legislation passes, a person convicted a fourth time would be given a felony charge and could be subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years and pay a penalty of as much as $10,000. The legislation would also impose the same penalties on anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs who was previously convicted of a specified homicide, manslaughter, or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle.
Between 2003 and 2012, 1,716 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Maryland, according to a 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).