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Ignition Interlock Bill Strengthened; Hogan Pledges Support

March 12th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

A measure to expand ignition interlock requirements for drunk drivers in Maryland has advanced in the House of Delegates.

The House gave the bill preliminary approval on Friday.

Supporters criticized changes made by the House Judiciary Committee that did not require people who refused to take a breath test to have ignition interlock installed. But the committee added sanctions for refusing a test Thursday night.

Now, a person who refuses the test would have their license suspended for 270 days, up from 120 days, or they would have the opportunity to opt in to using ignition interlock.

The bill would require all drivers with blood alcohol contents of 0.08 or greater to have the devices installed. State law now requires them for those with a BAC of 0.15. 

The bill has been called "Noah's Law" by supporters in memory of Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was killed in December by a suspected drunk driver.

The bill also has won the support of Governor Larry Hogan, who sent a letter to Leotta's parents on Thursday, advising them of his decision.

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