Maryland House Votes to Expand Ignition Interlock - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland House Votes to Expand Ignition Interlock

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- After seven years of trying, supporters of expanding Maryland's ignition interlock program to help reduce drunken driving pushed the measure through the state's House of Delegates on Tuesday in a unanimous vote prompted at least partly by the death of a Montgomery County police officer.
    
The bill, approved by a 136-0 vote, now goes to the Senate. It would require all drivers with blood alcohol contents of 0.08 or greater to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. The devices require drivers to blow into them to start their cars to determine whether they have had too much to drink. State law now requires ignition interlock for those with a blood alcohol content of 0.15.
    
"The ignition interlock device is the only thing that actually modifies the behavior of drunk drivers when it's been put on their car for at least six months," said Del. Ben Kramer, who sponsored the bill in the House. "With passage of this bill, we will definitely be saving lives, and every state that has done it has seen reductions in fatalities every year of 35 to 65 percent."
    
The bill is being called "Noah's Law" because of the December death of Officer Noah Leotta. The Montgomery County officer was killed while working on a driving-under-the-influence assignment by a suspected drunken driver with two previous convictions. While efforts to expand the ignition interlock have failed repeatedly over the years, Kramer said Leotta's death brought greater attention to the problem and increased support for changing the law.
    
"I think the difference is that we had a real groundswell of support," Kramer, a Montgomery County Democrat, said.
    
The measure also is significant for bringing a stiffer penalty to people who refuse to take a breath test when pulled over by police. Refusing to take the test would result in a suspended license for 270 days, up from 120 days. If drivers refuse the breath test, they could opt into the ignition interlock program. If they refuse and are later convicted of drunken driving, they would be ordered into the program.
    
Sen. Robert Zirkin, a Baltimore County Democrat who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, said the measure had strong prospects and could even be strengthened in the Senate by hastening when drivers would need to have the devices installed and extending how long they would be used.
    
"We will have consensus to try to move forward with an even stronger piece of legislation," Zirkin said after the House vote.
    
Lisa Spicknall, the state program director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the group was pleased with the legislation.
    
"We are working on the Senate as we speak, and I think we're going to see a great strong law come out and probably be one of the toughest in the nation, so I'm very thrilled about that," Spicknall said.
    
Twenty-five states have laws that require ignition interlocks for all offenders following any drunken-driving offense.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Local Volunteer Organization Making a Change

    Local Volunteer Organization Making a Change

    07/24/2017 20:04:00 -04:002017-07-25 00:04:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 8:34 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:34:33 GMT
    Pile of clothes being assorted before deliveryPile of clothes being assorted before delivery
    "Clothing Our Kids," a local volunteer run organization that had its start in a home, has grown, and is making a significant impact on Sussex County. The charity collects and donates clothing to 33 elementary schools for children K-5.More
    "Clothing Our Kids," a local volunteer run organization that had its start in a home, has grown, and is making a significant impact on Sussex County. The charity collects and donates clothing to 33 elementary schools for children K-5.More
  • U.S. Ag Secretary Visits Delaware State Fair

    U.S. Ag Secretary Visits Delaware State Fair

    Monday, July 24 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:27:20 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:27:20 GMT
    HARRINGTON, Del. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the Delaware State Fair on Monday, visiting a number of young growers and farmers from the region.Perdue, a former governor of Georgia with no relation to the chicken company prevalent oMore
    HARRINGTON, Del. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the Delaware State Fair on Monday, visiting a number of young growers and farmers from the region.Perdue, a former governor of Georgia with no relation to the chicken company prevalent oMore
  • Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Monday, July 24 2017 7:24 PM EDT2017-07-24 23:24:10 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 7:24 PM EDT2017-07-24 23:24:10 GMT
    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.More
    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Salisbury Man Sentenced to 25 Years After Third Felony Drug Conviction

    Salisbury Man Sentenced to 25 Years After Third Felony Drug Conviction

    Thursday, July 23 2015 12:15 PM EDT2015-07-23 16:15:04 GMT
    Thursday, July 23 2015 12:48 PM EDT2015-07-23 16:48:44 GMT
    A Salisbury man convicted last month of cocaine possession and “maintaining a common nuisance” has been sentenced to 25 years without parole, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday.More
    A Salisbury man convicted last month of cocaine possession and “maintaining a common nuisance” has been sentenced to 25 years without parole, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday.More
  • Assateague Horse Died After Eating Dog Food

    Assateague Horse Died After Eating Dog Food

    07/24/2017 15:45:00 -04:002017-07-24 19:45:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:57 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:57:23 GMT
    A photo of the mare that died after eating dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore. (Photo credit: L. Davis/Assateague Island National Seashore)A photo of the mare that died after eating dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore. (Photo credit: L. Davis/Assateague Island National Seashore)
    Officials say a wild horse was found dead after eating a large amount of dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore.More
    Officials say a wild horse was found dead after eating a large amount of dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore.More
  • Police Searching for Wanted Man in Laurel

    Police Searching for Wanted Man in Laurel

    Monday, July 24 2017 3:32 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:32:32 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:32 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:32:32 GMT
    Michael K. WashingtonMichael K. Washington
    Delaware State Police are asking for the public's help in locating a local man for assault and other charges.More
    Delaware State Police are asking for the public's help in locating a local man for assault and other charges.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.

    More

    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.

    More
  • Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More
  • Three More Suspects Arrested in Bank of Delmarva Holdup

    Three More Suspects Arrested in Bank of Delmarva Holdup

    Detectives with the Salisbury Police Department have arrested three more suspects in connection with the Dec. 9 armed robbery of the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. 

    More

    Detectives with the Salisbury Police Department have arrested three more suspects in connection with the Dec. 9 armed robbery of the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. 

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices