Traffic Safety Coalition Calls for Maryland Legislature to Close “Noah’s Law” Loophole During 2024 Legislative Session
Urges Legislature to mandate ignition interlocks for nearly 5,000 first-time DUI offenders
Washington – As Maryland’s 2024 Legislative session begins, a coalition of traffic safety organizations is calling on the legislature to pass legislation to close the loophole in “Noah’s Law,” ensuring that all DUI offenders in Maryland are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. Last session, legislation introduced by Senator Jeff Waldstreicher and Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary passed House and Senate Committees as well as the Maryland House, but the clock ran out before the Senate could pass the bill. Traffic safety advocates are hopeful that 2024 is the year to close this loophole to prevent lives lost and make Maryland’s roads safer for all.
The original intent of Noah’s Law, named in honor of Noah Leotta, a Montgomery County police officer who was killed in the line of duty by an impaired driver in 2015, was to prevent first-time impaired drivers from becoming repeat offenders by mandating the use of an interlock device for all DUI offenses. However, the current law, which was passed in 2016, does not mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for the 50% of DUI offenders annually who plead guilty and receive probation before judgment (PBJ) or who are convicted of the lesser offense of driving while impaired by alcohol, whether or not they receive a PBJ disposition.
The coalition is united in supporting Senator Waldstreicher and Delegate Atterbeary as they reintroduce legislation to require drunk drivers arrested for a first offense DUI who are sentenced to probation before judgement to complete 180 days on an ignition interlock device as a condition of their probation. This is a commonsense approach to ensure the nearly 5,000 first-time drunk drivers who receive probation before judgment in Maryland do not become repeat offenders and potentially harm or kill innocent victims or themselves.
List of Coalition Members:
Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety
Chesapeake Region Safety Council
Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers (CIIM)
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Maryland State Attorneys Association
National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving
National Safety Council
Noah on Patrol
Students Against Destructive Decisions
Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP)