The Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, otherwise known as Noah’s Law, went into effect across Maryland on Oct. 1. State officials aim to improve roadway safety with this law, as well as a number of others that went into effect the same day.
Noah’s Law was named after a law enforcement officer killed by a drunk driver. It requires that drivers install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle and comply with the state’s ignition interlock program if found guilty of:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driving while impaired (DWI) while transporting a minor under 16 years of age
- DWI with refusal to take an initial breathalyzer test
- DUI causing a death or life-threatening injury
Under Noah’s Law, ignition interlock devices will be mandatory even for first-time impaired driving offenders.
Ignition interlock devices are a breathalyzer-like device that must be installed in the individual’s vehicle. It prevents a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. Drivers must also submit additional tests throughout a trip.
Lawmakers hope the new law will reduce impaired driving throughout the state. Maryland’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving chairman considers the new law as a significant victory and believes that it will generate a great reduction in fatalities associated with drunk driving.
In recent years, impaired driving and fatality rates have slowly been declining across the state. The number of fatal impaired driving accidents has fallen 14 percent from 2009 to 2014, and total impaired driving accidents have decreased 17 percent.
If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Contact the Silver Spring car accident lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about your legal rights.