City sets legislative agenda for next year

June 12, 1997


Staff Writer

Tightening and toughening laws dealing with high-speed pursuits, underage drinking and drug use or dealing in front of minors are among the issues Hagerstown officials want state legislators to tackle next year.

Hagerstown's mayor and City Council discussed proposals on Tuesday for legislation broad enough for the Maryland Municipal League to consider supporting.

Hagerstown Police Chief Dale Jones said changing the crime of leading a police officer on a high-speed pursuit from a misdemeanor to a felony could toughen penalties.


It is a felony to put someone's life in jeopardy with a gun and it should be the same with a car, Jones said after the meeting.

Jones also wants to add some laws that would discourage underage drinking and the use of illegal drugs in front of minors.

While it is illegal for anyone under 21 to buy or consume alcohol, there's no law requiring someone who asks to be served alcohol in a tavern to display a picture ID proving age, Jones said.

He also wants to make it against the law to dispense or use narcotics in the presence of a minor. This could be an additional charge that would increase the criminal penalty, Jones said.

City officials also are interested in making sure that employees of local municipalities are included in any benefit enhancements Maryland pension officials propose, said City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

City officials also will consider what legislative issues they want to tackle next year that deal solely with Hagerstown.

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