BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Noah’s Law, named in memory of an officer hit and killed by a drunk driver, requires ignition interlock systems on the cars of convicted drunk drivers.
Now, there is an effort to expand that law to include drivers on probation.
The December 2015 death of Montgomery County police officer Noah Leotta, killed by a drunk driver, has had a lasting impact in Maryland.
“I’ve learned that we need to continue to do more,” said Rich Leotta, Noah’s father.
The 24-year-old officer was working a drunk driving checkpoint when he was hit by a drunk driver and died a week later.
His father Rich has been a champion for Noah’s Law, which now requires ignition interlock systems to be installed on the cars of convicted drunk drivers.
It is a device that prevents a car from starting when alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.
“It’s a lifesaver and it needs to be put on every car and every person that is guilty, guilty of drunk driving,” Leotta said.
Leotta has joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling on lawmakers to expand Noah’s Law to require ignition interlock systems for first offenders who plead guilty and are given probation instead of a conviction.
“What I have found out is that 48 percent of the time that a person gets probation before judgement they get a catch and release no interlock, nothing- just a few don’t do this, don’t do that, couple little things but no interlock. Catch and release,” Leotta said.
Those who want to see Noah’s Law expanded call the current system a disservice to the community.
An all-offender interlock bill is in the works. The bill sponsors expect to introduce it in the coming week or two.