Many of our readers are familiar with “Noah’s Law.” That Maryland law, officially called the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, was enacted following the death of a young Montgomery County police officer, Noah Leotta. He was killed by a drunk driver with two prior DUI arrests. State law requires those convicted of DUI (even first-time offenders) to have an interlock ignition device (IID) installed on their vehicles.
However, Noah’s father says that the law isn’t as effective as it should be because too many judges allow those facing their first DUI to have probation. That means that an IID isn’t required. He says that these “slaps on wrists are a source of great frustration for police officers making DUI arrests.” Officers feel like their efforts to enforce the law are “frequently undermined in court.”
Just before Memorial Day, Leotta introduced an 18-month initiative called “Noah on Patrol.” The primary goal is to monitor the sentencing of drunk drivers by Montgomery County judges and place public pressure on those who opt for probation for those guilty of DUI.
However, the initiative is also intended to call attention to the consequences of drunk driving for everyone who travels Maryland roads. This includes reminding everyone of alternatives to getting behind the wheel after drinking — like rideshare services and having a designated driver. The ultimate goal of the program is to eliminate drunk driving in Montgomery County.
Since Maryland imposes penalties like mandatory IID installation for first-time DUI offenders, it’s essential to take any DUI arrest seriously, even if it’s your first one. An experienced Maryland DUI attorney can provide important guidance and help present your case effectively.
Source: Rockville Patch, “Father Of Fallen Officer Kicks Off Drunk Driving Campaign,” Cameron Luttrell, May 23, 2018