With Maryland’s recent passage of Noah’s Law, the majority of U.S. states now has mandatory ignition interlock laws for first-time DUI offenders. That means that in those states, the very first time a person is convicted of a DUI, DWI or other drunk driving charge, they have to use an interlock for many months to come. That also means that in those states, the streets are much safer for the rest of us, and we look forward to the time when all 50 states have mandatory laws for all offenses.
Still, current ignition interlock laws are not bad. All but four states and D.C. have mandatory interlock requirements for at least some DUI-related offenses. For instance, these states will mandate an interlock if:
- There are violations of the state’s implied consent laws. Refusing a breathalyzer test by law enforcement will result in an arrest and the possibility of a mandatory interlock requirement.
- Child endangerment. If a minor is present in the vehicle driven during the DUI or was a victim during a drunk driving incident, many states will require an ignition interlock.
- High blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC is considered “super drunk” or around twice the legal limit, you might face a mandatory ignition interlock requirement.
- Multiple drunk driving offenses. This is the second most common reason for a mandatory requirement, with very few states letting more than one DUI slide before getting tough on drunk drivers.
Plus, every state allows a judge to order an ignition interlock at his or her discretion, so you could have the device no matter what.
Until all 50 states and D.C. have mandatory ignition interlock laws, we can remind our state lawmakers of our own dedication to safe streets and encourage them to make the necessary changes that ensure those safe roads for throughout the years to come.