News

Actions

New month means new laws in Maryland

Posted at 7:05 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 19:06:22-04
A new month in Maryland comes with new laws every driver needs to know about.  Crackdowns on drunk drivers are among them. 
 
There were 300 about laws that went into effect over the weekend, but some in particular have people talking.
Most have to do with alcohol and impaired driving, and how the penalties have changed for certain charges.
 
One of the most anticipated is Noah's Law.
 
"We may have carried it across the line but we couldn't have done it without everybody's support so many people's support made this happen and so many lives were lost to make this happen," said Richard Leotta, the father of the man after whom the law was named.
 
Officer Noah Leotta was a Montgomery County police officer.  He was struck and killed by a drunk driver at a sobriety check point.
 
'He was going  back to his vehicle, I'm not sure if he was gong in or going out of the vehicle, another drunk driver came and struck him," Leotta told ABC2.
 
ABC2 followed the law's progress in the General Assembly for months. 
 
"I think the message is getting out we finally connected with Annapolis it was an uphill battle but we finally connected and it was unanimous," said Leotta.
 

Follow Nadia Singh on Twitter @NadiaSinghNews and like her on Facebook.

 
 It requires all drivers convicted of a DUI to use an ignition interlock device.
 
"The benefit of being on the ignition interlock device is that the judge as well as the MVA knows that when you're starting the vehicle, you don't have any alcohol in your system because the device stops you from starting the vehicle," said Chrissy Nizer of the Motor Vehicle Administration.
 
The device will have to be installed, or the person's license would be suspended
.
Another new law targets underage drinking.
 
Alex and Calvin's Law affects parents who knowingly allow underage drinking parties.  Now, they could face up to a year in jail if an underage person leaves their home and hurts themselves or others in a crash.
 
The law is named after Alex Murk and Calvin Li, who were killed in a drunk driving crash after leaving an underage drinking party last year.
 
There are also now tougher penalties for vehicular manslaughter.
 
Thanks to new legislation, the maximum jail sentence for those convicted of vehicular manslaughter after previous DUIs or impaired driving goes from five years to 15 years, and now, those the fines can be up to $15,000.
 
Another law that went into effect over the weekend effects everyone who drives. House Bill 720 says that from now on, you must have a valid and current insurance ID card in all vehicles.
 
Electronic versions are also acceptable.
 

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.