New Driving Laws to Take Effect October 1

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A number of new road laws will be going into effect on Saturday, October 1. Among them, is the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, also known as Noah’s Law.

Maryland Department of Transportation Officials say that under Noah’s Law, drivers will be required to participate in the state Ignition Interlock Program if they are found of:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving while impaired (DWI) — while transporting a minor under the age of 16
  • Driving while intoxicated if there’s an initial breathalyzer test refusal
  • Killing or inflicting a life-threatening injury on anyone while driving under the influence or while impaired.

An ignition interlock is a device that is essentially a breathalyzer test inside one’s vehicle. It prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects a certain level of alcohol on the driver’s breath and requires the driver to retest at random points while they are driving.

The Maryland Department of Transportation says “Over the past five years, impaired drivers have accounted for roughly one third of all roadway deaths in Maryland.  On average, there are 7,884 impaired driving crashes statewide, resulting in 171 fatalities and 4,026 injuries every year.”

There are four other laws that go into effect on October 1:

  • SB 0544 & HB 0720 – Motor Vehicle Insurance : Drivers are required to possess current insurance information, through an ID car or in electronic format. Anyone who violates the requirement will be fined $50
  • HB 0058 Vehicle Laws – Historic Motor Vehicles: For anyone with a registered historic motor vehicle, prohibiting “for employment,” “for transportation to and from employment or school,” and “for commercial purposes” as permitted uses. It also says historic vehicles from 1986 or newer may be subject to safety equipment repair orders issued at roadside by law enforcement.
  • HB 0986 Vehicle Laws – Trade-In AllowanceThis law provides that a person trading in a leased vehicle to purchase or lease another vehicle may receive a trade-in allowance toward the “total purchase price” of the new vehicle.
  • SB 0080 Commercial Drivers’ Licenses: If a person’s commercial driver’s license is cancelled only for failure to submit a required certificate of physical examination, the driver has a preserved right to drive, only downgrading the commercial driver’s license to a noncommercial license, as long as the noncommercial license is still valid.

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