All DUI offenders convicted in court are required to install a Maryland ignition interlock. What can vary is the length of time an offender must install and maintain an interlock. Your Maryland ignition interlock requirement will depend on:
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the DUI offender at the time of arrest.
- Any prior drunk driving convictions (in Maryland or other states).
- Other “aggravating” DUI/DWI circumstances like reckless driving or property damage.
- If children were passengers in the vehicle during the DUI.
- The accumulation of “points” on a license that indicates other traffic offenses.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MDMVA) also has an administrative license revocation (ALR) policy that requires an ignition interlock device to reinstate driving privileges. The ALR helps an alleged offender facing DUI or DWI charges get their affairs in order and continue moving forward, despite the fallout from their decision to drink and drive. In Maryland you can actually skip your administrative hearing if you go ahead and install the interlock and provide proof to the DMV.
In some cases you may need an ignition interlock as part of your job. If you are a minor, your parents could insist on the device as well.
Maryland is one of a majority of U.S. states that require an ignition interlock for all drunk driving convictions. MADD reports that in a 10-year period Maryland ignition interlock devices prevented 42,163 drunk driving attempts, with 5,635 of those in 2016 alone. While nobody looks forward to an interlock, the reality is that if we cannot make safe choices before heading out for a night of drinking, we will have no choice but to blow to go.