Maryland’s General Assembly session came to a close at midnight last night, and before that deadline, Noah’s law received approval from both the House and Senate. We previously blogged on this proposed bill a few months ago when it initially debuted in response to a drunk driver hitting and killing Officer Noah Leotta of Montgomery County. Under Noah’s law, Maryland would now join most other states in requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device for all DUI offenders. Currently, the device is only required to be installed for repeat DUI offenders and those with excessive blood alcohol levels.
Numerous studies have been conducted that show the benefits of requiring an interlock device for all DUI offenders. In states with this requirement already in place, there were thousands of people who were stopped from being able to start their car because they were attempting to drive drunk. That means that the interlock devices likely saved many lives by keeping these drunk drivers off the road. Many first-time offenders end up driving drunk again because they did not face any serious consequences for their first offense. If an interlock device was required, it would prevent these people from being able to start their car with any amount of alcohol in their system.
Governor Hogan is expected to sign this bill into law, which would effectively end the slap-on-the-wrist mentality in Maryland for first time DUI offenders. This law will likely take effect October 1st or January 1st. When this happens, it will be even more important to hire an experienced Maryland DUI attorney to handle your case and limit the consequences as much as possible.
Anybody who is thinking about drinking and driving should remember, that not only are they putting their own life at risk, they are putting the lives of innocent people at risk. In addition, there are more serious consequences they will have to face with an interlock device required to be installed. There are significant costs associated with the installation of interlock devices, including the initial fees and the monthly maintenance fees. You can avoid all of these things by just getting an Uber, Lyft, or taxi to drive you home.
If you or a family member has been charged with an alcohol-related offense in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on these types of offenses please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Columbia or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Criminal-Defense/DWI-DUI/