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Maryland toughens DUI law to try to reduce car accident deaths

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Car Accidents

In Baltimore and throughout Maryland, drunk driving is an all too familiar problem, despite legislation like the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, commonly known as Noah’s Law. This law, which was named for a police officer killed in a collision with a drunk driver, requires DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle as part of their sentence. This device prevents the driver from starting the engine unless they blow an alcohol-free breath into it.

However, Noah’s Law contained one significant exception: if a first-time DUI defendant was placed under probation before judgment, they were not subject to the ignition interlock requirement. That changed recently when Gov. Wes Moore signed HB 105 into law.

A new chapter in road safety legislation

HB 105 ends the exception for PBJ participants, who get sentenced to probation but do not technically get convicted of a crime. They now must use an ignition interlock as part of their probation. Because PBJ is so common among first-time DUI offenders, lawmakers hope ignition interlocks will prevent thousands of drivers from reoffending and hurting somebody else in a car accident.

Justice for drunk driving accident victims

It is important to remember that Noah’s Law and the new amendment deal with criminal punishments for drinking and driving. Criminal punishments like prison for the person who injured you could help you feel a sense of justice, but it will not compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages the driver caused. For that, you may need the help of a personal injury attorney. Dealing with the insurance company and the courts is much smoother, more predictable and fair when working with an experienced car accidents lawyer.