A new drunk driving bill is being considered by lawmakers in Maryland, and people have been turning out to support the bill and to ask for it to be made into a law.
The bill has been nicknamed Noah's Law. The police officer it's named after, himself named Noah Leotta, was killed in a car accident. The authorities believe that the person who hit him was under the influence while driving.
The reason that supporters are so vocal about it now is that the bill has been changed. Initially, it was just a bill that would make ignition interlock devices mandatory for people who were convicted on DUI charges. This means that a car would not start unless the driver could pass a breath test, and the idea behind it is that it could keep repeat offenders off of the roads. These laws are already used in some other states.
Under Noah's law, this would only be used with those who were excessively drunk and those with a history of drunk driving.
However, the House changed the bill slightly from what the Senate saw. The additions would increase the penalties if there were injuries in a DUI accident or if someone died. That change doesn't have nearly the support that the initial bill did, and some are now suspecting that it won't pass in its current form, even though it may have passed in the older form.
It's very important for people in Maryland to watch what happens with this bill, no matter which iteration is eventually considered, as passing it and making it a law could have a huge impact on sentencing in DUI cases, and residents must know the laws and their own rights.
Source: NBC, "Supporters Urge Maryland Lawmakers to Pass Drunk Driving Bill," Derrick Ward, April 10, 2016