An overwhelmingly Democratic state, Maryland is located in the Mid-Atlantic USA and has been one of the most welcoming and cosmopolitan of cities throughout US history. There have always been attempts to make the law friendlier to the people in this state. In this article, we list 10 laws in Maryland, some serious and others very funny, that you should know about.
- Increased police accountability
Recently Baltimore came to news for all the wrong reasons. Racial discrimination is one of them. Following the Maryland shootings, there had been a loud call for police reforms, and in order to strengthen the trust between the police and the people, special emphasis is being paid to the hiring, training and the discipline of officers.
Not only that, the Inmate101 lets you find any relevant information regarding a particular prisoner. Police trial board hearings now open to the public, and the public can also participate in boards hearing complaints against the police. There is greater emphasis on diversity in the police, and the new officers are given special training in anti-discrimination and de-escalation of tension in any situation.
- Driving under influence
Maryland takes DUI very seriously, as it should. In case somebody has already been pulled over for DUI previously and is then committed for manslaughter, they would be facing prison, the timing of which has been rightly increased from 5 years to 15 years. The fines have been increased to $15,000.
Also, if an underage person drives under influence, or takes part in a drinking party, the parents would be pulled up in case they knowingly allow it. This happened after two high school graduates were killed a few years back in a car crash after leaving an underage drinking party.
- A woman can’t check the pockets of her sleeping husband
Considering the things that generally happen following this, it is actually a wise law, no? Not only is someone checking another’s pocket while they are sleeping an invasion of privacy, but there have also been many cases in which things have escalated in unwanted ways following this.
- More freedom of speech
The student journalists in the public schools or any public institution of higher education for that matter will have immunity for freedom of speech in any school-sponsored media, even though that media is supported by the school system or the higher educational institution.
And while there is no restriction against public meetings in the open, the public bodies have to declare the agenda for their meetings at least 24 hours before having the open session.
- Reduction in greenhouse emission
From the old target of reduction by 25% from 2006 to 2020, the target for reducing greenhouse emissions has gone up by 40%. This is mostly a reaction against the horrifyingly damaging amendments to federal laws made by President Trump, and the US backing out from several international treaties committed to climate change.
- Marriage between first cousins
While marriage laws are getting relaxed by the day nearly everywhere, a lot of societies still keep a check on first cousins marrying. In Maryland however, marriage between first cousins has been legal for a long time now.
- Equal pay
There has now been an amendment to the equal pay law which prohibits any business from retaliating in any way, legally or otherwise, against employees for discussing and revealing the payment details in their bid to strive towards equal pay regardless of the social category that they might occupy.
- Underage marriage
This is one law that is liable to being misused, and considering a large number of child brides in America, it is. Maryland allows fifteen-year-old girls to get married if her parents consent to it, or if a doctor has confirmed her pregnancy or if she has already delivered a child. The flip side of this law is that a lot of girls are coerced into marriage with older men, and even forced to marry their rapists in conservative households.
- You can’t fortune-tell
Well, yeah. In the age of tarot and online consultations and neo-gypsies, you cannot be a fortune-teller in Maryland. While we don’t know how much this law is actually enforced, you can be fined up to $500 or made to serve a prison sentence for a year in case you are convicted, so you might as well take things seriously.
- And finally……
You can’t take a lion to the movies. Yes, you read that correctly. We thought of closing off the list with this, in case somebody had got too fond of their pet, um, lion.
The United States has always been an exciting place as far as laws are concerned. These laws here, some new and some old, stand proof of the changing nature of society in this dynamic country.