In December 2015, a Montgomery County Police Officer named Noah Leotta was tragically struck and killed by a drunk driver during a routine traffic stop. To prevent the same tragedy from occurring to another person in the future, Maryland implemented the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, also known as Noah’s Law.
Noah’s Law 101
Noah’s Law requires ignition interlock devices for all drivers convicted of:
- Driving While Impaired (DWI) while transporting someone under the age of 16
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DWI or DUI
Ignition interlock devices stop a car from starting if it detects specific levels of alcohol on the driver’s breath. Depending on the number of convictions, affected drivers are required to participate for different lengths of time:
- 6 months for the first incident
- 1 year for the second incident
- 3 years for a third or subsequent incident
Participants in the program are only allowed to operate vehicles equipped with ignition interlock devices. Currently, people who are detained on suspicion of DWI or DUI and refuse a chemical test or have a BAC above 0.08 can elect to participate in the program instead of having an administrative hearing to argue the charge.
How Long Are Affected Drivers Required to Participate?
Any driver participating in Noah’s Law is required to successfully complete the ignition interlock program, including no violations in the three consecutive months before the conclusion of the program. Increased penalties may occur for drivers under the age of 21, drivers who already have alcohol restrictions, drivers with a CDL or drivers with previous DUI or DWI convictions.
The Impact of Noah’s Law
Before Noah’s Law, penalties for refusing to take a test and the subsequent license suspensions were much more lenient. There has been a small decline in the total number of car crashes in Maryland since the law went into effect. Maryland officials are hopeful that Noah’s Law will make an impact on the high number of impaired driving crashes in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Over the period from 2011 to 2015, a whopping 46.2% of crashes involved impaired drivers.
When You Need an Experienced Maryland DUI or DWI Lawyer, Call Mobley and Brown, LLP
If you want guidance in the aftermath of a DUI or DWI arrest, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.