As of Oct. 1, drunk drivers in Maryland who cause the death of another during a drunk driving accident will face much stiffer penalties.

The new penalties, passed into law by the Maryland General Assembly in May of this year, will depend on how intoxicated the driver was at the time of the accident and if they have previous driving under the influence offenses.

First-offense drunk drivers who are found to have a blood alcohol content between .08 and .14 will have their license suspended for six months. That is a significant increase from the previous penalty of 45 to 90 days. For a second offense, drivers with this level of blood alcohol content will face a one-year suspension of their license.

If an offenders blood alcohol content is .15 or higher, which is twice the legal limit, they will face a one-year suspension of their license for a first offense. If it is their second offense, they will lose their license permanently.

The law comes after a recent WalletHub analysis that ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their penalties and prevention strategies against drunk driving. Maryland ranked 47th in the country, making it the fifth most lenient state for DUIs.

Both nationally and locally in the state of Maryland, drunk driving fatalities account for one third of all traffic deaths. In Maryland in 2014, there were 141 drunk driving fatalities, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Although, overall the number of drunk driving offenses has decreased in recent years, every time a driver gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they are placing their life and the life of everyone else on the road in grave danger.

If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life due to a drunk driver, do not hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys in Silver Spring at Goldberg Finnegan. We can help you get the justice you deserve.