On March 31, 2017, Scott Alan Harlow, 56 of Stevensville, appeared in the Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court for a bench trial in an unrelated case. The matter was scheduled for trial at 1:30 pm. The Defendant appeared shortly after 3:00 pm after calling the Court and indicating that he would be late. When Harlow finally appeared, Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney for Queen Anne’s County, observed him to be stumbling and unsteady on his feet; additionally, he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Harlow. When Mr. Richardson heard the Defendant speaking, his speech was slurred. Due to the Defendant’s condition, Circuit Court Judge, Thomas Ross, concluded that the scheduled trial would not take place and the Defendant was held at the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center pending the application for a Schramm bracelet. The State’s Attorney’s Office learned that Mr. Harlow had parked his vehicle in the District Court parking garage on March 31st and subsequently obtained surveillance video that showed Harlow driving his truck, a red Chevrolet S-10 pick up. The Defendant was also observed on the video stumbling through the parking garage and losing his balance during his walk to the Circuit Court.
Based on the observations in the courthouse on March 31st and the surveillance video evidence, Mr. Richardson filed charges against Harlow in the District Court for operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and also driving on a suspended license. The case was originally set in the District Court for July 13, 2017; however, the Defendant requested a trial in the Circuit Court to be heard by a Judge rather than a jury. Additionally, the Defendant filed a request to have Judge Ross excused from hearing this case. In an unusual twist, the District Court Judge, Frank Kratovil, was assigned to hear the case in the Circuit Court. State’s Attorney, Lance Richardson testified in the trial on August 15, 2017. After hearing testimony and reviewing the surveillance video, Judge Kratovil found Harlow guilty of all charges.
Harlow was then sentenced to one year of incarceration for the DUI charge and an additional one year for the driving suspended charge. The 2 year sentence was suspended with all but 21 days to serve in the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center. Upon his release from jail, Harlow will be on probation for 24 months, ordered to complete a substance abuse program and a MADD Victim Impact Panel meeting. Harlow is also required to get an alcohol restriction on his license and participate in the ignition interlock program.
The case was prosecuted by Christine Dulla Rickard, Deputy State’s Attorney.