Frederick Alderman Derek Shackelford was sentenced to probation Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to driving while impaired by alcohol.

Frederick County District Judge Earl W. Bartgis granted Shackelford one year of unsupervised probation before judgment.

Frederick police arrested Shackelford on suspicion of driving while impaired and driving under the influence after a traffic stop early Aug. 25.

Officers pulled over Shackelford’s Lexus on Rosemont Avenue near U.S. 15 around 2:10 a.m. Officers reported smelling alcohol and conducting a field sobriety test.

Police arrested Shackelford and released him later that day.

On Oct. 30, Shackelford pleaded guilty to driving while impaired by alcohol. The driving under the influence charge was dismissed.

Under Maryland traffic law, a first-time driving while impaired conviction can carry up to two months in jail and a $500 fine.

Under unsupervised probation beginning Wednesday, Shackelford will be required to obey all laws and refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. The probation before judgment, also known as PBJ, defers the disposition in the case conditional to the successful completion of probation.

Failure to comply with the terms of probation could result in stiffer penalties.

Shackelford, 48, is a first-term alderman. In the November 2017 election, he received the second-highest number of votes among candidates for the board, trailing only Alderwoman Kelly Russell.

In office, Shackelford has made a priority of tackling the city’s affordable housing issue and is a member of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Group.

“I took full responsibility for what occurred and look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of the City of Frederick,” Shackelford said in a statement Wednesday.

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(43) comments


How much longer are you all going to run this article? It's not a game.
He has been judged. Let him go. Why all of these crazy comments?


Hi Ruth,

You asked about the comments. My guess is that because any time a public official -- particularly a police officer, prosecutor, judge, or state legislator -- gets charged with a crime, people naturally pay attention.

In some cases, some of the motivation is probably political, but my impression is that most people want to see if the public official is treated the same as an ordinary citizen would be.

If it appears that the official was treated with kid gloves, and given a lighter than normal sentence, then people will naturally complain about how unjust the system is.

I don't think it's personal for most people. I doubt very many (if any) people who commented know the alderman, and probably very few have any opinion about him one way or the other. My guess is that he's a nice guy -- a good person who made a mistake -- but that's beside the point.

The primary concern most people seem to have is not specific to any individual. It is that absolutely no one should be treated as if they are above the law, or given favorable treatment. Ideally, judges will recuse themselves if there is any potential conflict of interest. Trials of police officers are often held in neighboring jurisdictions so that local prosecutors and judges are not involved with a case against a cop(s) they may very well know and must routinely work with.

Unfortunately, there seems to be an "understanding", a quid pro quo, between jurisdictions that is essentially, "You go easy on our people and we'll do the same".

In any case, near as I can tell, that's the issue that most people are concerned with.


From a quick Google search for "Maryland sentencing guidelines for first offense DUI":

"First DUI Penalties in Maryland. A first-time DUI in Maryland carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time, a first-time DUI could result in a doubled penalty of two years in jail and $2000 in fines."

"First Offense. For a first offense DUI in Maryland, the maximum penalty is one year's jail time, a $1,000 fine and a six-month license suspension."

As for *actual*/typical sentences, this website (which is run by a law firm) claims that a first offense usually results in 6-18 months PBJ:

However, it also says:

"On a first offense, offenders assessed as a “social drinker” are normally recommended to complete a 12-hour class. This is usually spread out over six weeks, with six two-hour evening sessions. Offenders assessed as a problem drinker are usually recommended to complete a 26 week program."

"Usually the judge also imposes a fine, requires the defendant to attend a MADD victim impact panel (a two-hour meeting where the defendant hears the stories of drunk driving victims), places the defendant on supervised or unsupervised probation for from six to 18 months, with the average being one year, subject to the conditions specified by the court. These can include restrictions on travel, obtaining an alcohol or ignition interlock restriction on the driver’s license, abstinence from alcohol, and completing any alcohol education or treatment class."



I hope he learned his lesson.
Since 1982, drunk driving fatalities on nation’s roadways have decreased 48%, while total traffic fatalities have declined nearly 18%. Among persons under 21, drunk driving fatalities have decreased 80%. Despite this progress, we still have more work to do, and our commitment to eliminate drunk driving is stronger than ever. Hardcore drunk drivers continue to wreak havoc on our nation’s road accounting for 70% of drunk driving fatalities, where there is a known alcohol-test result for the driver – a trend that has remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade.


Lots of deplorable haters going to hate. PBJ is pretty typical for first offense


Unsupervised probation is not pretty typical.


Haters going to hate




Standard first offense deal.


Good luck, Derek and please don't drink and drive again. The judge was lenient on you, be happy with that and don't let it happen again.

Alcohol can be very bad. As a suggestion, please seek help, it can give you a better life.


Build the wall! Dems, Trump needs the money, please give it to him.


first offense I get the pbj, second offense law should be changed to allow confisication of vehicle and a huge fine, third offense - jail

Comment deleted.

Not when a breathalyzer was refused.


What did all of you expect? The double standard will show its face for the next average Joe that gets a DUI. That'll be more like a year of supervised probation, alcohol classes and associate fees. Then again, I surmise Mr. Shackleford will not be a one time offender. Give it time.


If he was sentenced then his lawyer would have played the old “Race” card! Equal punishment for equal people. But wait.....some are above the law or so they think.


You haven't changed from 2018 user1. Same tired old racist crap. You need some new material.


No one - but you- have mentioned a double standard. Crucifixion?- to the left please.


Sorry, I failed to read on. Reality check folks- who you know is important in life.


On what basis do you "surmise?" Haters going to hate?


what a crock! I've never heard of 1 yr unsupervised PBJ for a DUI/DWI. I guess he had a very expensive lawyer.


Look at Robert Francis (Beto) O'Rourke- DUI and B&E before age 30. Both dismissed, not even probation.


If this were Blaine, there would be 200+ comments on here saying he should be jailed for live for such action. lol


Nah, they'd want him hung, drawn, and quartered.


Speak no ill of the dead.


Dwi’ in 1998? In Maryland? Aren’t Bwi’s addressed in state laws? Not sure what Beto Dwl’s in Texas 21 years ago has to do with Maryland jurisdiction. How where bwi’s handled in Maryland 20 years ago before that progressive group “mother’s against drunken drivers”?


I would think this was obvious AW but I'll spell it out- as a child of privilege- white privilege at that- "Beto" was not penalized in either case. That, not state law was the point. I'm amazed such a white man is even being considered by the Dems. Impressive.



I checked this website:

It confirms that Beto was charged with DWI and B&E, BUT...

1) He had to complete a "DWI class". Light punishment, but not "dismissed", and probably typical for a first offense -- especially back then, in Texas.

2) The "B&E" was a a result of Beto and some college buddies horsing around on campus. The only B&E was slipping under a fence. They did no harm and did not steal anything so the charges were dropped.

It helps to have all the facts, to put actions in context.


yes it does look like amunity as a elected person he is supposed to be setting an example to the public as far as i am concerned a pbj does not get it,trusting his word not to do it again a big fat NO.


Basically, a judgement of charges dropped (If no other DUI / DWI issues in 12 months) days after 3 young kids were murdered in the same state because of a driver who was DWI. Nice way to set an example.


Do you remember “the good old days” when drivers would leave work, buy a six pack of beer 🍺, throw the empty cans along the road? I do. If stopped, no one was charged with anything except littering or a $25 fine.


Thank Goo he didn't kill anyone.


Looks like a case of "Aldermanic Immunity".

First of all, why was he allowed to plead guilty to DUI and have the DWI dropped?

Presumably he failed the field sobriety test since he was arrested. What was the BAC level? Why wasn't that reported? It typically is for mere citizens.

Since the limit for DWI was lowered to 0.08 (from 0.15) there is very little difference between DWI and DUI, which is 0.07.

And unsupervised PBJ for DUI/DWI?! Come on! How often does that happen, even for a first offense? Seriously, does anyone know?

If anything, public officials should be held to a HIGHER standard.

Oh well. I guess the precedent has been established. Henceforth, first offense DUI = 1 year unsupervised PBJ.

IOW, you walk! Bottoms up!

Remember, if it's OK for the alderman it's OK for you!


He refused breathalyzer. He will loose licenses for awhile.


He’ll just insist on a county driver to do his “job”. Can we?


He is a city employee.


Research the law and sentencing guidelines- PBJ is standard in MD for first offense. Your always charged with DWI and DUI but only convicted of one or the other depending on the BAC and other circumstances. He’s not “walking”- there will be consequences to include- alcohol class, community service and the MVA hearing where his license will be suspended for 120 days for refusing the field test (if your .15 or higher this is the recommended strategy). His insurance will double for the next 5 years as well. The man received the same punishment all of us would so 1. Research the law and sentencing guidelines 2. If you feel they don’t fit the crime then do something about it instead of lambasting. Alderman- we all make mistakes, learn from it and move on with your life.


Good post rmaghan1.

I should have researched the typical first offense sentences before posting.

In my defense, I honestly did not think that in this day and age a person could get PBJ for DUI/DWI, even for a first offense. That really surprises me.

Apparently, PBJ for a first offense is not unusual. However, you mention several additional punishments/conditions -- "...alcohol class, community service and the MVA hearing where his license will be suspended for 120 days for refusing the field test...". Was/is the alderman subject to any of the above?

You said:

"His insurance will double for the next 5 years as well." Based on what I just read, that does not seem to be the case. Apparently, while a DUI/DWI can never be expunged, the PBJ means is is *not* visible to the insurance company. So his premiums should not be affected.

The website I quoted above says:

"Usually the judge also imposes a fine, requires the defendant to attend a MADD victim impact panel (a two-hour meeting where the defendant hears the stories of drunk driving victims)..."

"...conditions specified by the court. These can include restrictions on travel, obtaining an alcohol or ignition interlock restriction on the driver’s license, abstinence from alcohol...".

It's unclear from the article which (if any) additional conditions the judge applied in this case.

In short, while PBJ is apparently fairly common for a first offense, it does seem the alderman was treated leniently -- especially for someone who refused to take the breathalyzer test -- if indeed that was the case.


yep special treatment !!! Big Government looking out for each other. Gee didn't Maryland change their laws to be stiffer on the first offense.


Not special treatment, read the sentencing guideline- PBJ is standard for first offense


I thought it was funny that Liz Warren announced a run for the Presidency the other day and complained about the inflated role of special interests in big government. Her cure? More government but switching to her preferred interests one would assume. Funny.


Strange sense of humor.


Yes des, I had to chuckle at that too. [whistling][whistling]


Coming from somebody with an inflated ego that's kind of funny

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