CBS News Baltimore recently reported on the issue of loopholes in Noah’s Law. Many advocates across Maryland, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, are urging lawmakers to close the loopholes in this specific law, which requires drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock into their vehicles if they are convicted of driving while intoxicated.
Noah’s Law was passed in 2016 after a police officer named Noah Leotta was killed by a drunk driver. The goal of the law is to reduce drinking and driving across Maryland by requiring the installation of ignition interlock systems in people’s vehicles if they are convicted of drinking and driving.
One of the loopholes and major issues with Noah’s Law is that an ignition interlock system may not be required if a judge grants probation before judgment. This means that even if the drunk driver pleads guilty, they do not need to install an ignition interlock system. Loopholes such as this one have caused a lot of tension around Maryland communities as they feel unsafe and fear for their families and loved ones on the roads.
What exactly is an ignition interlock system?
An ignition interlock system is a breathalyzer device that a person breathes into before starting their vehicle. After the individual breathes into the device, it will determine if they have any alcohol in their system. If they do not, the car will start. That said, the device prevents any individual from starting their vehicle until they pass an alcohol test. This prevents a person who has been caught drinking and driving from making the same mistake again.
The length of time that a person may be required to have the ignition interlock installed in their vehicle can vary, but most individuals are required to have it for at least six months to one year. After this period of time, they can take their car to the place that installed the ignition interlock system, and they will successfully remove the device with no signs that it was ever installed.
How can the loopholes be closed?
A bill called SB 528 has been introduced to ensure that ignition interlock devices are required even if the DUI offender is given probation before judgment. Lawmakers and advocates want to make sure that individuals cannot get away from installing these devices regardless of whether it is their first or fourth time committing the offense.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that 58 percent of car crash fatalities in the United States involved alcohol in 2020. Therefore, our personal injury attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, PA believe that closing this loophole will help save lives and prevent injuries around Maryland.
How a Maryland injury lawyer can help if you have been hit by a drunk driver
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you may be eligible to file a drunk driving accident claim. Although you may want to handle this situation or your own, or you may be considering handling this situation on your own, this situation on your own, your chances of winning your case may increase with the help of a personal injury lawyer. That said, if you choose to work with our team, we will help you build a strong argument against the defendant by using the following:
- Photographs of your injuries, the vehicles, and accident scene
- Video footage of your injuries, the vehicles, and accident scene
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Expert testimonies
- Blood tests or breathalyzer reports
Drunk driving accident cases can be complex and difficult, but our attorneys are well-versed in the laws surrounding these issues and know what it takes to develop a winning claim. Therefore, we will take these steps to stand up for your rights and ensure that your side of the story is told:
- Communicating with insurance companies and all parties involved
- Negotiating a fair settlement or compensation agreement
- Developing a strict deadline schedule and ensuring that every deadline is met
- Representing you in a trial or hearing
The types of losses you can claim in a drunk driving car accident in Maryland
While it may seem obvious that a drunk driver should be required to pay for the victim’s injuries and losses, you must have proof of your losses before this can happen. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take the time to sit down and determine how the drunk driving accident has negatively affected your life. This can be in financial and non-financial ways, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Home modifications
- Hired services
- Disfigurement and disability
If you have recently been injured by a drunk driver, reach out to our Maryland personal injury lawyers at Plaxen Adler Muncy, PA today. We believe that these drivers should be held accountable for harming you, and we will do everything possible to ensure that justice is served. If you would like to learn more about how our team can assist you, please fill out our contact form. We have many offices situated throughout the state of Maryland, making it easier for you to obtain legal representation.
Joshua Plaxen graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, and graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012 magna cum laude. He was also inducted into the Heuisler Honor Society for finishing in the top ten percent of his class. During law school, Joshua served on the Executive Board of the University of Baltimore Law Review.