Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Law

Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Law

Every year, without fail, law enforcement officials are asked to tighten up Maryland’s laws surrounding DUI and DWI.  Whether the pressure to get tough on drinking and driving is prompted by the legislature or by advocacy groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), DUIs are a constant source of controversy as well as heated debate among both advocates and lawmakers alike.

Impact of Recent Changes

One common method of preventing drunk driving, especially for repeat offenders, is the breath alcohol ignition interlock device, a the breathalyzer that is installed in a car to prevent the driver from being able to start the car unless the test is passed.  In 2011, Maryland increased its use of ignition interlock devises by way of the Drunk Driving Reduction Act.  However as with most things related to the law, there are many who are debating how exactly law enforcement should be permitted implement these changes.

As of October 2011, any driver who is convicted of a DUI as a result of a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.  Drivers who are under the legal age and violate their alcohol restrictions or who have had multiple convictions within 5 years are also required to enroll in the ignition interlock program.

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Maryland Ignition Interlock Laws

In the state of Maryland, if you fall under the above-mentioned conditions, you will be required to enroll and participate in the ignition interlock program for 6 months.  However, if you are a repeat offender, you are required to have the device for one year for the second offense, and three years for the third.

Participation in the program may not seem that bad, but the offender is responsible for the cost of installing, maintaining, and removing the device, which can add up to hundreds of dollars, in addition to any court imposed fine and the cost of alcohol treatment programs.  If you refuse to participate, you’re looking at potential license suspensions and you won’t be allowed to get your license until you’re compliant with the requirement.

The only way to avoid participation in the program if you have been arrested for a DUI under the previously mentioned circumstances, is to avoid a conviction.  Looking for the best legal defense for a DUI?  Call the Rodriguez-Nanney, P.A., a law firm in Annpaolis today.