A state delegate charged last summer with driving while impaired by alcohol was sentenced Friday but received far less than the 60 days requested by prosecutors.
Del. Richard K. Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford Counties, was sentenced in Worcester County Circuit Court to 60 days in jail with all but two days suspended. He also was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine and court costs.
The three-term member of the House of Delegates was stopped by an Ocean City police officer shortly after 8 p.m. on Aug. 18 after being seen getting into Impallaria’s illegally parked Ford Ranger pickup truck.
Ocean City Today reported Friday that prosecutors requested the maximum sentence because of a lengthy record that included 52 traffic citations, involvement in a traffic accident that resulted in a fatality and an assault charge in which Impallaria was convicted of attempting to run over his brother and mother with a car.
But Judge Thomas Groton gave a lesser sentence after raising questions about the actions of the arresting officer, who he described as “lying in wait” for Impallaria, according to Ocean City Today.
Impallaria was leaving Ropewalk, a popular restaurant and bar, where he attended a Republican reception during the annual Maryland Association of Counties summer convention.
The officer who approached Impallaria reported seeing an open container of alcohol in the truck and a “moderate odor of alcohol on (Impallaria’s) breath and his person.”
Impallaria failed to complete a series of field sobriety tests. He was arrested at the scene. The delegate later agreed to an alcohol concentration test and was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .07, according to police.
The delegate requested a jury trial and was found guilty in January. He then asked to postpone sentencing until after the 90-day General Assembly session. Impallaria was removed from his assignment on the House Economic Matters subcommittee on alcoholic beverages before the start of the 2017 legislative session.