Prince George's County Councilmember Pleads Guilty to Driving Under Influence

A member of the Prince George's County Council has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence after two people were injured in a car that was hit by a county vehicle.

Councilmember Mel Franklin entered the plea Friday. He was fined $645 and sentenced to probation before judgment, meaning his record will be cleared if he does not violate his parole in the next year.

Maryland State Police said Franklin crashed a county-owned vehicle into a car at a red light on Nov. 21. Two people in the car he hit were hurt and taken to a hospital.

"I can clearly remember three seconds before the impact my husband screaming 'Oh my God,'" said crash victim Teresa Franklin.

"I take full responsibility for the accident and I'm very very sorry to the victims of the accident," Franklin said outside the courthouse.

Montgomery County State's Attorney Ramon Korionoff argued the case at the request of the Prince Georges County State's Attorney's Office.

"We argued against probation before judgement...but in this particular instance before this particular judge, this is a result that I think everybody understands," Korionoff said.

Franklin is a Democrat from Upper Marlboro who's served on the council since 2010. He said in a statement Friday he will begin working to earn his constituents' trust and forgiveness.

Franklin released the following statement:

“I am deeply sorry to Mr. and Mrs. Collins and take full responsibility for the November 2016 car accident. That evening, I let down both Mr. and Mrs. Collins and all of the residents who look to me for leadership and responsibility. I must now begin the hard and necessary work of earning back their trust and forgiveness. With new ride sharing options like Uber and Lyft at the touch of your fingertips or the traditional options of taxi service or designated drivers, there just is no excuse for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are not in proper condition to drive. I hope others in this region will learn greater caution in their busy lives from my poor judgment.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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