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Stoughton Woman Charged Under Melanie's Law After Drunk Driving Accident With 4-Year-Old Passenger

September 8, 2012


A Stoughton woman was recently charged with a second offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, driving a vehicle with a revoked license, negligently operating a motor vehicle to endanger, and wanton behavior that created a risk to a child. According to the Stoughton Police Department, 33-year-old Maranda Schmitt was involved in a non-injury automobile accident near her home while under the influence of alcohol on September 6th. Police stated they charged the woman with endangering a child because a four-year-old was a passenger in the vehicle Schmitt was driving at the time of the accident. The following day, Schmitt was arraigned in Stoughton District Court and held on a $7,000 bond.

Schmitt was previously convicted of drunken driving in 2009. Her driver's license has also been suspended repeatedly, including at least once after she allegedly refused a blood alcohol test. Additionally, Schmitt was reportedly issued multiple speeding tickets and caused at least one surchargeable accident during the last four years. According to Stoughton Police Lt. Robert Devine, Schmitt stands accused of endangering a child through drunken driving pursuant to Melanie's Law, which allows an individual who is charged with drunken driving while a child is in the vehicle to also be charged with child endangerment.

David DeLuliis, a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, stated Melanie's Law should be more vigorously enforced. DeLuiis believes the number of defendants who receive jail time pursuant to the 2005 law is too low. He also said law enforcement officers in Massachusetts may not be properly informed regarding provisions of the law.

According to law enforcement officers, Melanie's Law is being enforced where appropriate. In February, Stoughton police arrested a 31-year-old Pittsfield woman for endangering children by operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Additionally, a 47-year-old woman was charged with two counts of endangering a child while driving drunk in Easton earlier this year.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and death in Massachusetts every year. Unfortunately, everyone on the roadway is placed at risk when an impaired driver makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Although sometimes an automobile collision will result in only minor injuries, the injuries that can potentially result from a car accident may also be fatal to you or a loved one.

The victims of automobile collisions may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical costs, any resulting disability, suffering, pain, and a variety of other damages. Someone who was hurt in a Massachusetts car crash may also be able to receive Personal Injury Protection benefits from an insurance company. If you have questions regarding filing a personal injury claim following an automobile accident, it is a good idea to contact an experienced car accident attorney to assist you.

If you or someone you love was hurt by a drunk or impaired driver, contact the Law Offices of Sousa & Sousa, P.C. today. Our Easton car accident lawyers focus our practice on personal injury law. Our attorneys are ready and available to explain your rights and help you file your damages claim following an unexpected injury accident. The lawyers at Sousa & Sousa have more than 37 years of combined experience assisting clients in Easton, Brockton, Bridgewater, Taunton, Stoughton, and surrounding towns. To speak with a skilled personal injury attorney today, please call Sousa & Sousa's Brockton office at (508) 230-5300. You may also contact the law firm through our website.

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