New Maryland laws
Various new Maryland laws went into effect on Oct. 1, 2016. The most wellknown may be the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, also known as Noah’s Law, named after slain Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta. Leotta, 24, was hit Dec. 3, 2015, by a car on Rockville Pike; he died a week later. The driver charged with fatally striking Leotta – while he was working as part of a holiday task force fighting drunk driving – pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge
On May 19, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed SB 945, also known as Noah’s Law. The law requires the use of ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers; the devices prevent vehicles from starting when they detect a certain level of alcohol on the driver’s breath and require the driver to retest at random points while they are driving.
During the past five years, impaired drivers have accounted for roughly one-third of all roadway deaths in Maryland. Under Noah’s Law, drivers are required to participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program for the following convictions:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while impaired while transporting a minor under the age of 16
- Driving while intoxicated with an initial breathalyzer test refusal
- Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI
Below are some of the other new laws, but this list is not all inclusive.
- Providing Alcohol to Underage Drinkers/Alex and Calvin’s Law (HB409): Following the death of Alex Murk and Calvin Li in a 2015 drunken-driving accident after a party in Montgomery County, this law prohibits people from allowing underage individuals to consume alcohol if they should have known those individuals would drive under the influence.
- Child Abuse and Neglect (SB310, HB245): Anyone involved in an investigation of child abuse or neglect must report suspicions of another individual knowingly failing to report child abuse to the appropriate board, agency, institution or facility.
- Criminal Law-Stalking (SB278/ HB155): This law expands the definition of stalker from inciting physical fears or threats to include causing emotional distress.
- Death or Injury by Vehicle (SB0160, HB157): The law increases penalties for offenders who commit vehicular manslaughter who have been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol previously. Offenders can now face up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
For more information about new laws that have recently gone into effect in Maryland, visit mgaleg.maryland.gov.
This article appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.