Last month, Officer Noah Leotta of the Montgomery County Police was on patrol when he was tragically killed by a drunk driver who had several prior DUI convictions. We blogged about the public outrage that followed regarding Maryland’s weak DUI laws. Maryland lawmakers, Delegate Ben Kramer and Senator Jamie Raskin, have responded to the public’s concerns with a draft of a new bill called “Noah’s Law,” which would strengthen Maryland’s penalties for DUI. If passed, the law will require all convicted drunk drivers to have an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicles, even first time offenders.
As Maryland law currently stands, ignition interlock systems are required for drunk drivers who either refuse to take the breathalyzer test or take the test with a result of 0.15 or more. Offenders with a blood alcohol content between .08 and .14 are eligible for a restricted license to go to school and work, however, they are not required to install an interlock device. The new law would apply to all offenders with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
The proponents of the law argue that Officer Leotta’s death could have been prevented by a stricter ignition interlock law, given that the driver who struck him had numerous prior DUI offenses. The federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) has also advocated for stronger ignition interlock laws, stating that repeat DUI offenses are reduced by 70% when interlocks are in use.
If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Rockville or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/