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What is Noah’s Law?

Noah's Law, also known as The Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, is named after Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in December 2015.

What does Noah's Law do?

Noah's law changed the law in two big ways

  1. It significantly increases the suspension periods for breath test results above .08 and for breath test refusals; and
  2. requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (also known simply as an "interlock" or "blow and go") for drivers convicted of the following offenses:

What charges are effected by Noah's Law?

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI)
  • Driving While Impaired by Alcohol (DWI) while transporting a minor under the age of 16
  • Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI

How long do I have to have the interlock?

  • 6 months for a first offense​
  • 1 year for a second offense
  • 3 years for a third or subsequent offense

Can I drive a non-interlock car?

​No. You are required to obtain a Maryland Driver's License with an "Interlock Restriction," which prohibits you from driving any vehicle without an interlock device.

You are, however, permitted to drive an interlock equipped vehicle at any time, and for any reason​.

Is this in addition to the suspension/interlock that I had to get because of my breath test result or refusal?

​Yes. This is a SECOND license restriction that is in addition to any suspension you served because of your breath test result, or because of a refusal.

​If you have been charged with DUI in Maryland, you have 10 days to protect your driver's license. Click on the red link below, or get the FREE guide "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland".

The guide gives you the 10 questions that you must get answered before you hire a lawyer AND shows you 20 ways the average lawyer can lose a winnable case!

Does a penny under your tongue fool the breath test machine?

Prior to your taking a breath test, the breath test operator is required to check your mouth for any foreign objects. Even if you were able to sneak a penny under your tongue, it wouldn't have any effect on your breath test result. So in short, there really are no secret tricks to fooling the breath test machine – there are only ways that the breath test machine can for you.

Any foreign substance in your mouth could actually cause the breath test result to be higher rather than a lower, as demonstrated in this YouTube video by my friend and colleague Justin J. McShane, Esquire of The McShane Firm in Harrisburg, PA.

The harder you blow into the machine the higher your breath tester so is going to be. If you don't blow hard enough, the police may say that you didn't provide a sufficient breath sample which is the same as a refusal. The breath test machine that Maryland uses, the Intox EC/IR II requires a breath sample of at least 1.5 liters, or 1500 milliliters. If you provide 1499 milliliters of a breath sample is considered an insufficient sample.

Read more about why your breath test result was probably not accurate or download my FREE book "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland." If you are facing DUI charges and want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

I didn’t have that many drinks, how accurate is the breath test?

Simply put, the breath test may not be accurate.

The test is looking for .08 grams of alcohol her 210 liters of breath. To put that in perspective .08 g is about three grains of rice and 210 liters is about the size of a 55 gallon drum.

That means the machine is looking for three grains of rice in a 55 gallon drum or an oil drum.

To make the math easy, your breath is only about 2.1 liters, so the machine is actually only looking for 1/100 of those three grains of rice, or about three grains of salt out of your breath sample.

The machine is also working off of a mathematical formula that converts your blood alcohol level to a breath alcohol level.

The formula relies on two numbers that it assumes our constant - the temperature of your breath and what is called a partition ratio.

If either of these two numbers are different than what the machine assumes they are, then the result of the breath test will be wrong.

For example, if the temperature of your breath is 1° higher then the pre-programmed temperature that machine uses, your breath test result will automatically be 7% above your blood alcohol level!

Read more about why your breath test result was probably not accurate or download my FREE book "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland."

If you are facing Maryland DUI charges and want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

Will I lose my license or go to jail for my DUI?

Will I lose my license?

If your breath test result was under .15 and this is a first DUI then you will likely be able to keep your license for getting to and from work, driving for work purposes, school, alcohol education or treatment, and court.

If your breath test result was .15 or more or if you refused to take the breath test, the only way that you will be able to keep your license is if you have the ignition interlock installed on your car for a year.

If however, your attorney is able to successfully argue on your behalf at an MVA hearing, then you will keep your full license.

When you are arrested, you were given two copies of the "DR–15A officers certification and order of suspension" (or "Temporary License").

The "Driver's" copy of the Temporary License is your drivers license.

You were on so given a "Hearing Request Copy" of the Temporary License – it has a section on the back with instructions on how to request your hearing.

Although you have 30 days to request a hearing, in order to continue driving beyond the 46th day after the "Issue Date" on the Temporary License, you MUST request your hearing within 10 days.

The hearing request is considered incomplete and will not be accepted by the Office of Administrative Hearings without a check for $150.00 (payable to "Maryland State Treasurer"). Mail the request to "Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Rd, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1329."

Will I go to jail?

If this is your first DUI, then you will likely not go to jail, unless there are aggravating circumstances like an accident with personal injury (especially to another person) or an extremely high breath test.

Also for a first offense DUI, you will likely be offered was called Probation Before Judgment (commonly called a PBJ).

A PBJ keeps the conviction and any points from appearing on your public driving record. The law currently only allows a PBJ once every 10 years.

Unlike most other criminal or traffic charges, a PBJ for a DUI cannot be expunged from your record. If you do get another DUI sometime in the future, a charge may consider that as a prior DUI.

To learn more about DUI laws and the defense of DUI charges, check out the DUI section of the website. You can also download the FREE book "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland." If you have been charged with a DUI, you can complete the DUI Case Evaluation and Scott will contact you to discuss your case.

Should I take the breath test in Maryland?

If you are pulled over by a police officer or stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, you will at some point likely be asked to submit to a breath test. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked this question. My general advice is to take the test. The penalty for refusing the breath test are incredibly harsh in Maryland. Once you are asked to take the breath test by the police officer, here are the potential outcomes:

You take the test with a result under .08

There is no penalty or suspension by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

You take the test with a result over .08 but under .15

You face a suspension of your license for 45 days that may be modified for travel or work purposes, alcohol treatment, health care and/or school if the driver has not been convicted of DUI/DWI or had a suspension for a test result of .08 or above or a refusal within the last five years.

You take the test with a result of .15 or more

You face a suspension of your license for 90 days, with no modification for work purposes, alcohol treatment, health care and/or school, but the suspension may be modified to participation in the Ignition Interlock System Program for a period of 1 year.

You refuse to take the test

  • You face a suspension of your license for 120 days, with no modification for work purposes, alcohol treatment, health care and/or school, but the suspension may be modified to participation in the Ignition Interlock System Program for a period of 1 year.
  • Additional penalties in court - an additional 60 days in jail and/or $500.00 fine
  • If you have a Class A (CDL, or Commercial Driver's License), disqualification of your CDL for one year, or for three years for a 1st offense while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded. For a second offense, disqualification of your CDL for life.

​The Ignition Interlock

​With the Ignition Interlock, if you have one or more violations during a monitoring period, you will be required to have the Interlock on your car for an additional month. You get three strikes (which also means three additional months, for a total of 15 months), if you get a 4th strike, even if it is on the last day of that 15th month, you will be terminated from the Interlock program, and you will face the entire original 120 day suspension.

​Even if you take the breath test, there are things that I can do to keep the test result out of court. Read more about why your breath test result was probably not accurate or download my FREE book "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland."

​If you are facing DUI charges and want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

My first DUI was 10 years ago and just received my 2nd DUI. Will it count as my 1st or 2nd DUI in Court?

This most recent DUI will likely count as your second DUI. Depending on the County (and more importantly) the Judge, incarceration is absolutely a possibility.

You have several issues to deal with.

First is your driving privilege. With a .18 BrAC (Breath Alcohol Content), you will be facing at a minimum either a 90 day complete suspension of your license (or privilege to drive) or interlock device (breath test hooked up to your car) for a minimum of one year.

Read can read more about the breath test, license suspensions. Download my FREE guide "How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Maryland."

If you are facing DUI charges and want Scott to take a look at your case, complete the DUI Case Evaluation Form and Scott will contact you.

Charged with DUI?

Get this FREE guide before you speak with ANY lawyer (Including Scott!):