How Maryland Deals With Drunk Driving Incidents
Many states have started to crack down on intoxicated drivers by establishing new standards for post-conviction practices. Maryland is one of these states. Plagued for years by high rates of car crashes caused by drunk driving, particularly in high population density areas like Baltimore, state leaders and lawmakers decided it was time to take action.
The following is a breakdown of Maryland drunk driving laws and the requirements that one must meet if he or she gets charged and convicted of drunk driving.
2016 Drunk Driving Reduction Act
The 2016 Drunk Driving Reduction Act was what kicked off the new set of rules and new drunk driving laws in Maryland. The state was losing hundreds of citizens due to inebriated drivers and had to put its foot down to enforce the acts. Maryland implemented the ignition interlock device mandate when it changed its laws to conform to the new act. The law states that any person who has been convicted of a drunken driving offense must use an ignition interlock device. They must have a mandatory alcohol breathalyzer installed.
An ignition interlock device is a piece of equipment those guilty of a DUI must have connected to their vehicles. They must breathe into the device any time they intend to go somewhere. The machine then records their blood alcohol level and allows them the start the car if the reading is fine. If the reading is too high, the vehicle will not start. If the person does not perform the check, the vehicle will not start.
People who are on probation or parole will have more problems than car starting failure if they fail the breathalyzer test. Such individuals will receive a parole or probation violation, and then they will face additional time in jail, higher fines, or revocation of their driving privilege, which can put a strain on their livelihood. No matter where you leave when dealing with issues this serious, individuals must find alcohol treatment.
The rule for having a mandatory breathalyzer installed will deter many people from driving in an inebriated condition. Individuals who refuse to take a breath test are also subject to the ignition device rule.
Maryland Clamps Down on Offenders
Maryland has always been a rather strict state for drunk driving offenses. First-time offenders could face up to one year in jail as well as a six-month license suspension and a $1,000 fine that does not include surcharges and court costs. The penalties get harsher with each subsequent violation. A second-time offender could spend up to two years in jail, and a third-time offender could be in jail for three years. The fines double and triple for subsequent offenses, as well. Furthermore, the time for the license suspensions increase.
The governor of Maryland is adamant about doing something to further reduce drunk driving incidents. He has implemented many programs to try to put an end it. One program that he has in effect is the Justice for Victims Initiative. The system is hard on repeat offenders and helps to prevent people from becoming victims again because of it.
Maryland will continue its efforts to improve its handling of drunk driving offenders. The goal is to keep the injury and death rates down low and get repeat offenders on a corrective path for everyone’s safety.