On November 6, 2015, Governor Larry Hogan announced a proposal for new Ignition Interlock Legislation, which would expand the criteria for those permitted to participate in the program.

What is the Ignition Interlock Program?

Since 1989, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has employed an Ignition Interlock program in an attempt to reduce the amount of impaired drivers on the road. The Ignition Interlock program requires that participants have a device installed in their vehicle connecting to the ignition. The device prevents a car from starting if a certain amount of alcohol is detected on a driver’s breath.

According to the MVA, participants of the program are responsible for the cost of the device, the cost of installation and the cost of device maintenance. Further, regulation of the program establishes that the amount of time a participant is required to have the device installed could be extended due to a violation of program rules, traffic violations or other related events.

Proposed Regulations

Until the new regulations, the program has been limited in that it only allows offenders who have registered a 0.15 blood alcohol content level, or higher, to opt-in to the program as a way to keep their license without facing an administrative hearing. Governor Hogan has now proposed changes to the Ignition Interlock regulations that would create the ability for those who have registered a blood alcohol level between 0.08 and 0.15 to do the same for the proscribed 45 day suspension period, in lieu of a suspension.

The proposed regulations would also align the Maryland Interlock program with standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on DUI and DWI violations, or to learn more about the proposed Ignition Interlock regulations, contact the experienced DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Eldridge and Nachtman.