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Noah’s Law Effect on Annapolis DUI’s

Noah’s Law, also called the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, brought an enormous amount of attention to the DUI law in Maryland and surrounding states. The situation received a great deal of attention locally and nationally because a young state trooper lost his life on the side of the road for a DUI stop when he was hit by a driver who was allegedly driving under the influence.

That person should not have been driving and the accident brought a lot of attention to the DUI laws in Maryland. For many years, the state legislature has been working to increase the penalties brought about by a DUI conviction. Legislative penalties for a DUI in Maryland have been common practice for some time, and were already in place before the enactment of Noah’s Law. In fact, compared to surrounding states, the penalties are quite significant. What the tragedy with the state trooper,  and the ensuing passage of Noah’s Law, brought about were additional penalties in the form of consequences to the driving privileges of someone convicted of a DUI.

Penalties

A DUI has two parts, the judiciary and the administrative. Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) rules are different from court rules. The former relates to which privileges and information will be included on a person’s driver’s license, as well as whether an applicant for such a license qualifies to carry one, having passed the necessary tests and met the relevant criteria. The latter determines the penalties incurred by a defendant’s conduct and the charges of which they are ultimately convicted. After the passage of Noah’s Law on October 1, 2016, there have been a number of changes to the already existing penalties. For instance, there is now a longer period of time required for the Ignition Interlock System Program. There are now longer license suspensions imposed for first time DUI offenders, both those with a blood alcohol level under 0.15, as well as those with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher. For those drivers who refused to take the breathalyzer test at the request of the police officer on duty at the time of the stop, instead of the previous penalty of 120 days, the new length of suspension is 270 days. In addition, many judges have now taken the added precaution of assigning defendants to install an Ignition Interlock System in their cars during the period of probation, before a trial takes place. All of these changes took effect upon the enactment of Noah’s Law.

How An Attorney Can Help

By increasing the penalties associated with convictions for driving under the influence, Noah’s Law has ensured that. The consequences of a license suspension can be serious and long-lasting, even beyond the temporary jail time often imposed. It is not simply a question of what could happen to a person for a weekend, a month or a year. If the Motor Vehicle Administration withdraws someone’s driving privileges, they may have trouble getting to work because Maryland’s public transportation services leave much to be desired. If someone cannot get to work, they cannot support themselves and their family. They may lose the job they held prior to the conviction, and everything else that came along with the employment. That is the essential piece of why a lawyer is so incredibly important.