Today, the Maryland Senate had a hearing on SB718 which would require judges to order all persons convicted of, or granted probation for, certain alcohol-related offenses, to drive only motor vehicles which are equipped with an ignition interlock system for not less than 3 months (first offense) and not less than 1 year (subsequent offenses). An ignition interlock system is a device which is attached to a car’s dashboard and has a small handheld alcohol sensor (which must be blown into). The car will not start if the driver’s blood-alcohol level is above a certain level. These systems are highly accurate and very difficult to circumvent. Thirty seven states now use these devices as part of their drunk driving prevention efforts. These devices are currently used in Maryland by judges who sentence drunk drivers. This new legislation, if passed, would require Maryland judges order this type of monitoring in all cases that qualify.
Criminal lawyers might object but from a Maryland accident lawyer’s perspective, this is would be a great development. Our lawyers have handled too many drunk driving fatalities to not support any reasonable effort to get drunk drivers off our highways.