Md. father pushing for stronger penalty on adults who host underage drinking parties

Image 1 of 2

A father who lost his son in a car accident last June is pushing for tougher penalties for adults who host underage drinking parties.

Dave Murk is scheduled to testify Wednesday at the Maryland State House to help strengthen the current law.

This all stems from a fatal car crash involving Calvin Li and Murk's son, Alex. The 18-year-old former students at Wootton High School had been at a party where alcohol was provided before the accident. A parent was at home at the time.

Kenneth Saltzman of North Potomac pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to minors. He paid the maximum penalty for the crime - a fine of $5,000, which is $2,500 for each count.

Murk told FOX 5 that he does not feel that penalty is enough for someone responsible in supplying alcohol to teenagers who were later killed in a crash.

Murk is not alone in this. Maryland State Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo and a majority of the Montgomery County delegation in Annapolis have signed on as co-sponsors to the bill being introduced.

The bill would double the fines and include possible jail time - up to one year for the first offense and two years for the second offense.

Currently, the charge does not come with jail time.

"It was really appalling after the accident and the individual who was hosting the party that night paid a $5,000 fine," said Murk. "That was very hard for my wife and I to swallow when he paid a fine in District Court as if he was paying a parking ticket."

Testimony for the bill, which is called "Alex and Calvin's Law," will begin at 1 p.m. before the House Judiciary Committee.