In December 2015, Officer Noah Leotta was killed by a drunk driver. The man accused of killing him had been convicted of drunk driving three times before. This prompted outrage and a push for stricter drunk driving laws, and soon enough, Maryland drivers may see change. Current Maryland DUI laws aren’t as strict as some states, but now, drivers may be facing a mandatory ignition interlock.
At the 2015 Maryland General Assembly session, the Drunk Driving Reduction Act failed at the House level. An ignition interlock prevents a car from starting unless the driver can pass an automated breath test. Currently, a person is only required to have an ignition interlock installed if they are found to have a blood-alcohol content of .15 or more, are younger than 21, or, were driving drunk with children in the vehicle. Now, Noah’s Law has been introduced, and would apply the same rules with respect to an ignition interlock, even for first time offenders.
Be careful out there
The perceived notion of installing an ignition interlock is that there will be fewer incidences of DUI. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ignition interlock prevents second time drunk driving offenses by at least 67 percent. Of course, even though the ignition interlock may not be implemented as of yet, the penalties for Maryland drunk driving can have an effect on your everyday life if you are stopped and charged with DUI.
First Offense v 2nd offense DUI
According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Association, if you (a Maryland driver) refuse to take a test to determine blood alcohol or drug concentration, or take a test and fail it, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license, issue a paper temporary license and prepare a case for the Maryland MVA file. Here is what you should expect, given the results of your breathalyzer:
- First offense BAC .08 to .14: 45 day suspension
- Second offense or more BAC .08 to .14: 90 day suspension
- First offense BAC .15 or greater: 90 day suspension
- Second offense BAC .15 or greater: 180 day suspension
Of course, these are just the penalties available during the MVA administrative hearing. You will also have to face criminal court, where you are subject to fines and/or jail time.
If you have been charged with a DUI, do not wait to contact an attorney. If Noah’s Law passes a BAC of .08 or greater could result in more strict penalties. The experienced DUI defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC have a proven track record of fighting both DUI and DWI cases, and can discuss your case with you during a free case evaluation. Call 866-444-6363 to set up an appointment today.