29 Apr Ignition Interlock Bill in Maryland Approved by House Committee
A new bill in Maryland would require all drivers convicted of drinking and driving to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Currently, drivers in Maryland who are convicted of drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or higher are required to use an ignition interlock device in their car. However, the House Judiciary Committee recently approved Noah’s Law by unanimous vote, moving the bill forward to the House. If this bill becomes law, drivers who are convicted for driving with a BAC level at or above 0.08 would be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization states that an ignition interlock is a cellphone-sized device that is wired into the ignition of a vehicle. Drivers who have one of these devices in their car must blow into it before they are able to get their vehicle to start. Their car will not start up if the device detects that there is a measurable amount of alcohol in their system.
Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program
Drivers who participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program, according to the Maryland Department of Vehicle Administration, are required to cover all of the costs associated with using an ignition interlock device in their vehicle after a DUI conviction. These costs include the cost of installing the ignition interlock device as well as the expense of acquiring a restricted driver’s license.
After the ignition interlock device is installed in their vehicle and a restricted license has been acquired, drivers must visit their Ignition Interlock Service Provider every 30 days. During this visit, the IISP makes sure that the ignition interlock is working as it should be and collects a variety of information to send to the Maryland MVA. This information includes some of the following:
- Any cases where a start was tempted without first blowing into the ignition interlock
- How far the vehicle travelled
- Any attempts at tampering with the ignition interlock device
- How many times the vehicle was stopped and started
- Any instances where a high BAC level was recorded
Drivers should remember that if they violate the rules of the IIP or violate other traffic laws, they may be required to keep the ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for longer than initially mandated.
Contact an Attorney
The requirement to use an ignition interlock device is just one of the penalties drivers face when they are pulled over for drinking and driving in Maryland. Those who were recently arrested for DUI should contact an attorney to find out what legal steps they should take next to preserve their legal rights.