Driving while impaired is a preventable choice. There are many substances, both legal and illegal that can impair one's ability to drive; alcohol, over the counter medications, prescriptions and illicit drugs. Think about how to get home before drinking alcohol. Make a plan. Maryland's impaired driving laws are aggressively enforced and everyone plays a vital role in keeping our roads safe.
NEW! Important Changes to Maryland’s Drunk Driving Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2016
Noah’s Law is named for Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was killed by a drunk driver in December 2015. The law will protect Marylanders and make our roadways safer by significantly expanding Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program to help keep drunk drivers off our roads. An ignition interlock is a device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects a certain level of alcohol on the driver’s breath. The bill (Senate Bill 945) was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan on May 19, 2016, and will take effect October 1, 2016.
Noah’s Law mandates an ignition interlock device for convicted drivers. You are required to participate in the program for the following convictions:
· Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
· Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) while transporting a minor under the age of 16
· Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI
The length of time you are required to participate in the program for the first incident is 6 months.
For the second incident, it is 1 year.
And for the third or a subsequent incident, it is 3 years.
If you receive a DWI after refusing to take a chemical test (the court shall require mandatory interlock) and you will be required to participate in the program for 1 year.
If eligible, the drunk driver may immediately opt-in to Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program instead of serving the suspension period. An individual participating in the program can only operate motor vehicles that are equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Governor Larry Hogan led the effort to allow individuals to opt-in to the ignition interlock program through regulations finalized in March 2016. Under Noah’s Law, individuals who are detained on suspicion of committing an alcohol-related driving offense -- and either refuse a chemical test or have a test result of 0.08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) or higher -- can elect to participate in the ignition interlock program immediately instead of requesting an administrative hearing to dispute the charge.
Noah’s Law mandates successful completion of the ignition interlock program, which includes the final three consecutive months with no violations before release from the program.
Noah’s Law also significantly increases driver license suspension periods for individuals arrested for impaired driving.
Comparison of Current Administrative Suspensions to Noah’s Law
BAC 0.15 or Above
Second or Subsequent
BAC = blood alcohol concentration
Enhanced penalties still apply for drivers under the age of 21; drivers who have a previously imposed alcohol restriction; drivers with a commercial license or driving a commercial vehicle; and for those with previous drunk driving convictions.
For more information, please see:
Suspensions for Point Accumulation
Information on additional penalties for commercial drivers in the Commercial Driver's License Manual
Section VI – Dangerous Driving Behaviors in the Maryland Driver’s Manual