When Maryland Officer Noah Leotta was struck and killed during a traffic stop with a drunk driver last year, the shock of his death extended far beyond his family, friends, and coworkers. That’s why when his family and coworkers began the process of passing Noah’s Law, a law strengthening ignition interlock requirements in Maryland, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and lawmakers jumped on board with a tidal wave of support.
MADD dedicated the recently released report ‘How technology has stopped 1.77 million drunk drivers’ to Officer Leotta and Governor Larry Hogan wrote to Officer Leotta’s parents in support of the law. Right before the House voted, Cindi Lamb Wiley, one of the co-founders of MADD, came to testify in support of the law too.
Thankfully all of their hard work paid off, because Noah’s Law took a huge step forward when it passed the House of Delegates with a vote of 136-0. It’s now on its way to the Senate.
If Noah’s Law passes the Senate and becomes law, it will change the way offenders are required to use ignition interlocks in Maryland. As of right now, if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) and you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15, you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle. Noah’s Law will strengthen ignition interlock laws by requiring anyone with a BAC of .08 or higher to install the device.
Noah’s Law will also require the following:
- Ignition interlocks for anyone who refuses to take a breath test
- Increased penalties for anyone refusing to take a breath test
- Increased license suspensions for drunk drivers with a higher blood alcohol content
- Will allow voluntary enrollment in the ignition interlock program for one year instead of a driver’s license suspension
Will ignition interlock requirements in Maryland finally be strong enough to shut down drunk drivers? If Noah’s Law passes in the Senate, the state has a good chance of seeing a real decrease in alcohol-related deaths.