Already talk of harshening Maryland’s fall DUI law change

Shouldn’t a law officially have taken effect before people begin talking about how to further change it? Laws are not just words; they significantly affect people’s lives, their futures and their families. Before making legislative changes, determining the effectiveness of a current law is crucial.

The law currently at the center of this issue is related to Maryland DUI convictions. Starting in the fall, drivers who are convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or above will be required to have ignition interlock devices on their cars. For some in the state, however, that won’t do enough.

According to the Washington Examiner, anti-drunk driving advocates and researchers are already working together to concoct a plan for a required expansion of the ignition interlock law in Maryland. They don’t see a need to exclude first-time DUI offenders from the ignition interlock device requirement. Impaired driving is impaired driving in their eyes.

Our source says that researchers are thinking about creating vehicles that detect alcohol on drivers’ breath or skin without the current ignition interlock device. The vehicle is a mere figment of the imagination right now, and it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be technical issues with the product. For example, what if the driver were a sober, designated driver bringing his drunk friend home? Would the car start for him?

When it comes to technology and drunk driving convictions, it is easy to be skeptical. Recently, various states have had problems with DUI cases because breathalyzer test devices were proven to be defective. Technology is certainly helpful in many aspects of our lives, but it isn’t error-proof. When a person’s freedom and reputation are on the line, therefore, the public really needs to be careful about how much it relies on technology.


Washington Examiner: “New technology could reduce DUI crashes,” Emily Babay, 24 Jul. 2011

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