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Drunk driving laws are changing in Maryland due to Noah's Law

Drunk driving laws are changing in Maryland thanks to a new law that will go into effect on Oct. 1 -- Noah's Law. This law increases many of the penalties that are associated with some common charges related to drunk driving.

One big change has to do with refusing to take a blood alcohol concentration test. The current penalty for refusing to take the test is a 120-day driver's license suspension. When the new law takes effect, that will increase to 270 days. The new law does provide an option for people who need their driver's license. They can opt to use an ignition device for a year instead of having a license suspension if it is their first time refusing to take the BAC test.

Driver's license suspensions associated with other drunk driving charges are also changing. A person with a BAC of above .08 percent will face a 180-day license suspension for a first offense under the new law. That is a big increase from the current 45-day suspension for a BAC of .08 to .14 percent or 90 days for a BAC of .15 or above. Again, the new law provides for the use of an ignition interlock instead of a driver's license suspension.

This is good news for some people who will face drunk driving charges after the new law goes into effect. Still, all drivers should do the responsible thing and avoid driving after drinking. If you do find yourself facing charges, make sure that you consider the options that you have at each step in your case.

Source: Herald-Mail Media, "New DUI laws could mean more interlocks in Maryland," Don Aines, July 02, 2016

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