The final day of the Maryland General Assembly saw the passing of a significant bill, one which will hopefully do a lot to decrease the fatalities and devastation caused by drunk driving in Maryland.
What is the Bill?
The bill was named Noah’s Law, after 24-year old Noah Leotta, a Montgomery County police officer who was struck and killed by a drunk driver while working a sobriety checkpoint in 2015. It will require first-time DUI offenders with a BAC of .08 or above to have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicles if they want to retain their license. The previous law in Maryland only required in Maryland, interlock ignition devices were only required if a convicted drunk driver’s BAC was .15 or above- which let a lot of people continue to drive after a history of impaired driving.
The passing of this bill offers immense comfort to Noah’s parents, Rich Leotta and Marcia Goldman, who feel that their son’s “duty” and impact can continue with the enforcement of this bill. The bill was heavily supported not only by Noah’s family and friends, but by law enforcement and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Governor Hogan is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
Why is this Bill So Critical?
Some facts about drunk driving accidents in Maryland:
- From 2009-2013, 20,987 Marylanders were killed or injured in a crash involving drugs or alcohol.
- Last year there were 141 drunk driving fatalities in Maryland (around 30% of all total traffic deaths).
- Someone was killed as a result of impaired driving every 66 hours in Maryland in 2014.
Hopefully the passage of this bill will cause convicted DUI offenders to seriously take a look at their drinking, and maybe become willing to seek help.
Are You a Problem Drinker?
If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call the treatment professionals at 1-800-203-2024 for a free confidential assessment.