In 2016, Maryland passed Noah’s Law, a measure instituting an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for all drunk driving offenders. While Noah’s Law provided a model for the nation in 2016, in the years since, it became clear that Maryland’s IID requirement was not up to the standard of today’s technology, with modern IIDs featuring advancements like cameras and GPS technology which serve ensure compliance. This year, Maryland legislators took steps to modernize their IID requirements.
Maryland’s Step Forward
The Maryland House of Delegates moved to update their state’s law with House Bill 55, an expansion of the definition of state-required ignition interlock systems to include a camera capable of recording still images of the individual submitting a breath sample to the device. Having passed both chambers of the Maryland legislature, the bill now awaits signing by Gov. Larry Hogan.
This new law will be a tremendous step forward for Maryland, a state that, according to MADD, has 139 annual drunk driving deaths. These drunk driving fatalities comprising 26 percent of all traffic fatalities, and Maryland has a great chance to save lives by reducing incidences of drunk driving on its roads thanks to House Bill 55. So, why are cameras the right place to start?
Ignition Interlock Devices and Cameras
Random retests are the first line of defense against non-drivers providing passing breath samples in IIDs, as they require additional samples to be submitted after the vehicle’s started. While all ignition interlock devices drastically reduce the potential for drunk driving, it’s an unfortunate truth that some offenders try to circumvent IID requirements by having someone else, even some who ask their child, provide a passing breath sample into their device.
Cameras add another element of accountability to each required breath sample, especially random retests. The IID camera eliminates the potential for non-drivers to provide the breath sample, with a photo taken of the driver’s seat area each time a breath sample is taken. If the person providing the sample isn’t the driver, it will be documented by the camera. The state monitoring authority is then notified of tampering, and appropriate legal action is taken.
Maryland's 2019 House Bill 55
Maryland’s House Bill 55 shows Maryland legislature’s commitment to keeping their constituents safe on the road by virtually eliminating the potential for drunk drivers to get behind the wheel of a vehicle equipped with an IID. Intoxalock supports all 50 states adopting a camera provision for IID requirements to ensure the right person provides the breath sample and is truly driving sober.
It's very encouraging to see how much IID adoption has advanced states' public safety protocols in recent years, but there is still considerable work to be done to ensure safe roads for everyone. Maryland’s legislation marks another important milestone in the journey to eliminate drunk driving fatalities.
A Camera Model
Intoxalock provides several models of ignition interlock devices, including the eLERT device which includes a camera and other advanced technology to meet high level standards for states that require this type of IID. Our devices are the easiest to use on the market, and our more than 2,600 installation locations make Intoxalock the most convenient choice. Learn three reasons why Intoxalock is an industry leading IID provider.