All states in the U.S. have graduated penalties for DUI. For instance a first offense, usually considered the result of poor judgment, carries minimal consequences as long as nobody was hurt. But that perspective hasn’t done a lot to keep drunk drivers from a first DUI, which is why Maryland recently passed Noah’s Law, strengthening those penalties by requiring an ignition interlock for first offenses. While strict, there are obvious reasons for the requirement, including avoiding the next step: Maryland repeat DUI consequences.
Maryland repeat DUI offenses have a big impact on your freedom to drive.
Once you have more than one DUI conviction within a five-year period, you’ll be considered a repeat offender. Your license will be suspended for one year and then you’ll have a one-year ignition interlock requirement after that time is up. Plus, you’ll have higher court costs and fines to face. Since the state passed Noah’s Law that requires interlocks for all first-time offenders, increasing the consequences for repeat offenders is the next logical step. A step that just increases safety on all of Maryland’s roads.
Not everyone can afford an ignition interlock in Maryland.
After Noah’s Law is enacted, you won’t have a choice about installing an ignition interlock. It will be a requirement in order to drive legally. While this gives you the freedom to get yourself to work and back, the requirement can still be a financial hardship. Maryland does offer financial assistance for first-time and repeat DUI offenders. Once you receive your notice to install the device, you can request a hearing with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Just be sure you do so immediately, as you only have 15 days to request the hearing.
With Maryland strengthening its DUI laws and ignition interlock requirements for first-time offenders, it is clear the state is no longer turning the other cheek for those incidents. That means that Maryland repeat DUI offenders may soon find themselves with even harsher penalties for multiple violations. Noah’s Law makes a powerful statement about how well Maryland will tolerate drunk driving in the years to come.