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Lawmaker w/ history of blocking DUI laws represents alleged drunk driver | News

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Lawmaker w/ history of blocking DUI laws represents alleged drunk driver

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- How could a guy continue to drive with a traffic and criminal record that stretches back years and includes drunk driving and fleeing police?

The answer may have to do with his lawyer -- a guy who not only argues the law -- he writes it.

Maryland State Police say James Calero was drunk Thursday night when he plowed head-on into 20-year-old Adedire Olanrewaju Ososanya on Route 202 near Prince George's Community College.

Court records show Calero has a history of drunk and reckless driving and has also been accused of eluding police and fleeing the scene of the accident.

Charges dropped against driver in crash that killed 20-year-old

So why was he still on the road? The answer could lie with the chairman of the Maryland House Judiciary Committee, who may have helped keep Calero on the road in more ways than one.

Critics say Delegate Joseph Vallario has a long history of crushing attempts to toughen Maryland’s drunk driving laws, which one local police chief recently described as among the weakest in the nation

And the man who represented Calero in his most recent run-in with police? Delegate Joseph Vallario -- who declined to answer repeated messages Monday from WUSA9.

Calero was charged with DUI, DWI and seven other charges, but those charges were dropped Monday because prosecutors are worried he'll plead out to lesser charges pending a full probe of the fatal crash.

Prosecutors may decide the facts warrant charging Calero with vehicular homicide. But if he paid the fine for drunk driving, double jeopardy rules would keep them from bringing up the more serious charge.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says Maryland may be the only state where you can both write the laws that punish drunk drivers and represent them in court.

MADD has repeatedly tried to get an ignition interlock bill through Vallario's committee. They actually had a majority in favor last session, but Vallario refused to bring it up for a vote.  

Ososanya was a Morgan State University student studying business that friends described as a campus leader. 

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