The State of Maryland passed Noah’s Law, formally known as The Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016.  The law will significantly expand Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program. An ignition interlock is a device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects a certain level of alcohol on the driver’s breath.  Senate Bill 945 was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan on May 19, 2016, and will take effect October 1, 2016.

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.  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.  Th law also significantly increases driver license suspension periods for immediate Administrative chemical test failure and refusals.

It is important to understand that your rights need to be protected.  The best way to protect your rights under the law is to contact a lawyer immediately after being arrested for suspicion of the driving under the influence.  A lawyer can advise you of the law and the best next steps to protect your rights.