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Advocates push to close loophole in Noah's Law

MDTA police step up impaired driving enforcement on Eastern Shore
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 18:19:33-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Noah's Law made it so people found guilty of a DUI need an interlock system to start their car.

It didn't account for first time offenders given probation without judgement.

That's the loophole this bill aims to close.

"We've got to fix that to make sure first time offenders have an ignition interlock as well," said Chris Swonger, President, CEO Distilled Spirits Council.

People like Vickie Brown showed up, her son Darius was killed by a drunk driver in 2004.

"Coming home from the movies, we got hit by a drunk driver and a repeat offender drunk driver," said Brown.

Her son was only 12 at the time of the crash.

For the last two decades, Brown has been fighting for kids like Darius and mothers like herself.

"The battle is because it's something that's preventable," said Brown.

Drunk driving is also something that's repeated.

According to advocates, people drive under the influence nearly 80 times before they're caught.

Advocates say there's even high odds people do it after being caught.

"High odds, absolutely, and the ignition interlock will help them make sure they don't get back in the car and drive drunk and hurt somebody and hurt themselves," said Swonger.

"We are not against the act of drinking, we are against the act of drinking and driving so if you want to go to a bar and have a drink, have a couple of drinks, go ahead but always have a plan," said Brown.

The bill has support from the chair and vice chair of the judicial proceedings committee, giving it a strong chance to reach the senate floor.