Question: Are there any recent or upcoming changes to the DUI/DWI laws that people should be aware of in Maryland?
Answer: Yeah, absolutely. There’s, you know the big change in the law, which is the first one in a very long time, is this Noah’s Law. Noah’s Law comes as a result of a young Montgomery County officer who unfortunately got struck by and killed by a DUI suspect, and the parents of the deceased officer and the legislature got together and have taken dramatic action as a result of that and the law has passed congress, Maryland State Congress, and will be going to the Governor for signature and will probably go into effect sometime around October 1, 2016.
There will be many changes in that law as far as people who blow between a .08 and a .14, which is often times considered a lower type of a blow and then there will be changes for people who blow a .15 or more and for people who refuse. You’ll see all the punishments become stiffer, you’ll see the period of suspension increase, and you’ll see interlocks being required where they have not previously been required. So, the full law hasn’t come out yet, but what we’ve heard so far, is that if a person blows between a .08 and a .14, we are hearing that they are going to be requiring interlock for a 90-day period of time for this infraction of the law.
This is something that’s brand new— they’ve never required interlock for such a low blow, but they are now. And they are also increasing the periods of suspension if somebody elected not to do an interlock. Well, you can’t really elect not to do it—if you choose not to get an interlock, they’re not going to unsuspended your driver’s license until you do this for 90 days, is what we’re hearing. Now this law could change by the time it gets to the Governor for signature, or by the time it goes into effect, there could be changes, so we definitely want to check back in on this particular Noah’s Law, but it is coming and it is pretty strict.