Maryland Expands Requirements for Drunk Drivers

Posted on

Drunk driving car accidents are responsible for approximately 11,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania. Several states across the country have implemented stricter ignition interlock device laws (IID) that have reduced the number of drunk driving deaths. Maryland will be expanding its ignition interlock laws in an effort to impose tougher penalties on drunk drivers and reduce the number of fatalities to drinking and driving.

Under the new laws, anyone who has a blood alcohol level of .08 on a breathalyzer when caught drinking and driving must install the ignition interlock device in his or her car for six months. If the person does not install the device, their license will be suspended for that period of time. In addition, if the individual refuses to take a breathalyzer test, he or she will be required to install the IID for nine months, or have their license suspended for that same amount of time.

Other states that currently require interlock devices have seen a 15 percent reduction in fatal drunk driving wrecks. The state of California is in the process of conducting a pilot program that requires first-time drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlock devices for a period of five months. According to Frank Harris, director of state government affairs for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the program has been extremely successful. The use of the ignition interlock device has prevented more than 124,000 drunk driving attempts since July 2010 in California alone.

While California’s pilot program will expire next year, the hope is that it will become permanent. The State Senate Public Safety Committee is reviewing a bill that would give individuals convicted of drunk driving the option of installing the ignition interlock device as opposed to having their license suspended.

There are some officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles who believe that the best way to prevent drunk driving overall is to suspend a driver’s license. However, proponents of the program acknowledge the fact that the ignition interlock device would prevent these individuals from drinking and driving while still enabling them to drive to work, school, or anywhere else they need to be without having to depend on public transportation.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Drunk Driving Victims

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, contact the dedicated Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will fight hard to ensure that you are well compensated for your injuries and that the responsible parties are held accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent drunk driving accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.