On October 1, 2016, Maryland's laws regarding drunk driving changed as "Noah's Law" went into effect.
This is how the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration describes the changes:
Noah’s Law mandates an ignition interlock device for convicted drivers. You are required to participate in the program for the following convictions
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Driving While Impaired (DWI) while transporting a minor under the age of 16
- Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI
The length of time you are required to participate in the program:
- For the first incident is 6 months.
- For the second incident, it is 1 year.
- And for the third or a subsequent incident, it is 3 years.
If you receive a DWI after refusing to take a chemical test (the court shall require mandatory interlock) and you will be required to participate in the program for 1 year.
If eligible, the drunk driver may immediately opt-in to Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program instead of serving the suspension period. An individual participating in the program can only operate motor vehicles that are equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Governor Larry Hogan led the effort to allow individuals to opt-in to the ignition interlock program through regulations finalized in March 2016. Under Noah’s Law, individuals who are detained on suspicion of committing an alcohol-related driving offense -- and either refuse a chemical test or have a test result of 0.08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) or higher -- can elect to participate in the ignition interlock program immediately instead of requesting an administrative hearing to dispute the charge.
Noah’s Law mandates successful completion of the ignition interlock program, which includes the final three consecutive months with no violations before release from the program.
Noah’s Law also significantly increases driver license suspension periods for immediate Administrative chemical test failure and refusals.
Comparison of Changes to Certain Suspensions under Noah's law
BAC 0.15 or Above
Second or Subsequent
BAC = blood alcohol concentration
Enhanced penalties still apply for drivers under the age of 21; drivers who have a previously imposed alcohol restriction; drivers with a commercial license or driving a commercial vehicle; and for those with previous drunk driving convictions."
The biggest change is that all drivers will be required to participate in the ignition interlock program. Prosecutors are also publicly stating that they will ask judges to impose ignition interlock on drivers.
With more severe penalties, it is more critical than ever to have an experienced attorney guide you through this process and assert every available defense in both criminal court and administrative proceedings.
Call our office today for more information at 410-541-6(DUI) today.