Ignition Interlock in Maryland

In March, I wrote a post about failed efforts in Maryland to require DWI offenders to install an ignition interlock system in their vehicles. Specifically, the bill before the legislature this year would have required people convicted of alcohol related offenses to only drive cars equipped with an ignition interlock system for some period of time. Simple premise: cars can’t start if you are not sober. My first thought is who would be opposed to this. It just makes too much sense.

Reading the Maryland State Bar Association Legislative Preview today, I found out something interesting I didn’t know: this bill passed the Maryland Senate 44-0 before getting stalled in the house judiciary committee. Okay, so not one person in the Maryland Senate thinks it is a bad idea but we can’t even get it to a vote in the House of Delegates?

I think the people of Maryland would be very depressed to see how the sausage is made.

This comment to my last blog post on this should be required reading for the Maryland House of Delegates Judiciary Committee:Breathalyzer_Test

Our son died as a passenger in an alcohol related car accident in 2002. Since then we have been trying to get a law passed for Ignition Interlock Devices in every car. State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has been working with us and there is a bill in the NYS assembly which we are hoping will become a law some day. My husband and I also hoped that the law would be named Christopher’s Law, similar to Megan’s Law and our son would have died for something. We always believed that the technology could advance to more than blowing into a device but rather detecting blood alcohol levels through the skin; for example through a steering wheel. This shouldn’t be too difficult; the technology is already there with bracelets that detect blood alcohol levels through the skin.
More information about this can be found at our blog and our website.

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  • Looks like Maryland has a lot to learn from Texas.(Hahahha)

    The ignition interlock system is a great idea. But the cost is another reality. Getting the system, then pay fees to the State, lawyer fees etc…

  • Virginia Vallecillo

    My son was made to have this interlock system put in is car, this system sucks, It destroyed the engine in the car within three months, yes he was caught driving under the influence, yet he was not incoherant like most benige drinkers are. Death is inevitable weather you drink or not, it is a sad occasion for any lose, but this system is too costly and NO one should have to put this in their car, If you think it is such a good idea, try it yourself and see how much damage it does to your vehicle before to decide it for someone else. My son is an social drinker and not a person that needs to have a drink to survive life like most, you dictate for a life of others to change, why not try it on yourself before you place it on others, do they place a judgement on any of you, go after the people that are the offenders and not just anyone whom may be at will. I am glad you posted this because I will not use your service, No I am not a drinker, but I believe that everyone has a free will and I have no right to change that for anyone, NOR should you.

  • Ron Miller

    Virginia, I appreciate your point. I’m sure it is a crazy hassle. I think the important distinction is that we are not giving these interlock systems on just anyone, we are giving them on people convicted of DWIs. So I don’t think the “you should try it” before you support it logic really works here no does the argument that death is inevitable anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Virginia, I don’t care one bit if your son kills himself. However I do care dearly if he kills me or someone I know.

  • It is really hard to believe that this bill “passed the Maryland Senate 44-0 before getting stalled in the house judiciary committee”. There is something seriously wrong with that committee.

  • Father of a convicted DUI dummy

    As a parent of a convicted DUI offender, I can say my son is a complete dummy. Unfortunately I believe the whole system is a big scam. My son is a college student who waits tables at night to pay for school. His license suspension did nothing but place a huge burden on the family for the year it was suspended and the 7 months it took to get it reinstated. Now I can’t drive my truck because it has an interlock devise and it is the only vehicle he can drive. Oh yeh! I have to pay $70 a month for the privilege of not having the use of my truck. It would have been a heck of a lot easier on the family if they sent him to jail for three months. I honestly believe the whole system is a typical government scam to raise money. At a minimu the defendant should be given a choice: fine; jail time; or the current convoluted system that’s costs me, not my son, $4000 to date.

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