Advocates Against Impaired Driving Lament Maryland Legislature’s Failure to Pass Noah’s Law
Urge Meaningful Reform and Passage of Noah’s Law in 2023
ARLINGTON, VA – Leading anti-drunk driving organizations including Noah on Patrol, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving, Responsibility.org, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States call on Maryland lawmakers to focus on meaningful DUI law reform in 2023 after once again failing to strengthen Noah’s Law.
“In light of the historic rise in traffic deaths during the global pandemic and a 14 percent increase in drunk driving deaths nationwide, it is difficult to understand why a bill with no opposition was not voted on until the last day of session,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and Responsibility.org. “Maryland’s General Assembly needs to make strengthening Noah’s Law and passing meaningful DUI reform a top priority in 2023. In the meantime, I hope Maryland residents will call on their legislators to take action against impaired driving and help prevent more lives needlessly lost to drunk drivers on the roads in Maryland.”
Noah’s Law would have required all first-time drunk drivers in Maryland to install an ignition interlock device. According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services Fiscal and Policy Note, nearly 6,000 of the 14,170 people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in 2020 were spared a DUI conviction by receiving probation before judgment and were not required to install an ignition interlock device.
Studies show the best way to keep our roads safe is to require an ignition interlock after the first offense. Noah’s Law would require interlocks for the individuals who receive probation before judgment, helping to change behaviors, prevent recidivism and keep everyone on the roads in Maryland safe.
Noah’s Law is named in honor of Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who died a week after being struck by an impaired driver while working on his department’s annual Holiday Alcohol Task Force.
“The loophole in Noah’s law must be closed to accomplish our original goal of preventing first-time impaired drivers from driving impaired again in the future. For at least another year, the nearly 6,000 impaired drivers who are arrested, plead guilty and receive probation before judgment will not have to have an ignition interlock” said Rich Leotta, Noah’s father and founder of Noah on Patrol.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-impaired drivers got behind the wheel about 147 million times in 2018 and 12.6 million Americans reported driving under the influence of marijuana or other illicit drugs in 2018.
For more information, please visit www.responsibility.org.
Responsibility.org is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empowers adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi USA, Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Campari Group; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky, LLC; Pernod Ricard USA; and William Grant & Sons. For 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit www.responsibility.org.
About the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.
About National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving
The National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving is a coalition established and led by Responsibility.org to eliminate all forms of impaired driving, especially multiple substance impaired driving, through effective and proven measures such as DUI system reform, DUI detection, and improved use of data and technology. Our members include law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, toxicologists, academics, safety advocates, and industry leaders. NASID provides national leadership to expand testing among impaired drivers, training for criminal justice practitioners, toxicology lab capacity improvements, and programs to increase likelihood of recovery and reductions in recidivism. Our work includes state and federal advocacy efforts, public awareness and education, and state implementation of effective programs. Visit www.NASID.org.
About Washington Regional Alcohol Program
Founded in 1982, the Maryland nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs, and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths historically lower than the national average. WRAP, however, may best be known to area residents via the organization’s popular free safe ride service to prevent drunk driving, SoberRide®. For more information, visit WRAP’s web site www.wrap.org.