Prince George's County Councilmember Charged With DUI After Crash

A member of the Prince George's County Council has been charged with driving his county car under the influence after he was involved in a car crash that sent two people to the hospital, police say.

Councilmember Jamel "Mel" Franklin (D) was arrested after a crash that occurred Nov. 21, Maryland State Police said.

Police say he was driving a 2008 Ford Explorer registered to Prince George's County at around midnight, when his car rear-ended a Mercedes that had stopped at a traffic light on southbound Rt. 4, north of Dower House Road, near Upper Marlboro.

The driver and a passenger in the Mercedes were transported by ambulance to Prince George’s Hospital for treatment.

Maryland State Police said that Franklin was not at the scene when they arrived. A medic described a person seen walking from the accident; a trooper then spotted him in the center median, before crossing the northbound lanes and walking on the shounder.

He was identified as Franklin. The trooper noted "signs of possible impairment," the state police's statement said. A breathalyzer test indicated a blood alcohol content of .10, according to the state's crash report. 

He was charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired, negligent driving and failure to control speed to avoid a collision, police said.

His lawyer, Theresa L. Moore, said in a statement that the charges will be addressed in court. 

In both October and December 2012, Franklin had accidents in two other county cars, according to public records reviewed by News4. 

Franklin relinquished his county car and no longer has access to any county-issued vehicle, the Prince George's County Council said Wednesday.

Franklin is an attorney who represents District 9 and is chairman of the public safety and fiscal management committee.

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