9th Drunk Driving Charge Results In 3-Year Sentence

9th Drunk Driving Charge Results In 3-Year Sentence
Joseph M. Cardellino

OCEAN CITY — A Lusby, Md. man was sentenced to the maximum three years in prison this week for his ninth drunk-driving conviction.

Joseph Michael Cardellino, 56, pleaded guilty last Friday in District Court to driving while impaired for an incident in Ocean City in June and was sentenced to three years, the maximum allowable sentence under the statute. For Cardellino, last Friday’s conviction was the ninth for drunk-driving and related charges. Just the day before, Cardellino pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in Calvert County District Court and was sentenced to three years with all but two suspended.

For the incident in Ocean City for which Cardellino was sentenced last week, around 1:25 a.m. on June 2, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers on patrol in the area of 57th Street were alerted to a possible intoxicated driver. OCPD Communications had received a call from a concerned citizen about a vehicle traveling north on Coastal Highway going slow and swerving all over the road.

OCPD officers observed the vehicle drifting from lane to lane, at times with the vehicle straddling two traffic lanes or the right lane and the bus lane.

OCPD officers stopped the vehicle at 52nd Street and identified the driver as Cardellino. A background check revealed Cardellino’s vehicle was required to have an ignition interlock system, but no interlock system was installed in the vehicle. When Cardellino was asked to step out of the vehicle, he stumbled and needed to hold onto the door in order to stand up, according to police reports. OCPD officers had to grab Cardellino to keep him from falling down.

Cardellino refused to cooperate with any of the officers’ requests and refused to submit to any field sobriety tests. When the officers called for a transport vehicle to take Cardellino to the Public Safety Building for processing, he braced himself against the side of the transport van and kicked one of the officers, saying “[expletive deleted] you pig.” As a result, second-degree assault charges were tacked on to the growing list of traffic offenses.

Last Friday, Cardellino also pleaded guilty to the second-degree assault charge, which was merged for the purposes of sentencing.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.