How safe are Maryland roads from drunk drivers?
On behalf of Law Offices of Steven H. Dorne posted in Wrongful Death on March 24, 2017.
Drunk drivers continue to create deadly dangers on roads throughout the country. One-third of those under the influence while driving are the cause of fatal crashes.
Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia received recognition as the lowest rates of fatal crashes involving drunk and drugged drivers compared to the rest of the country.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiled 20 years of traffic fatality data in their study. From 1994 to 2015, Maryland came in ninth lowest (2.1 per 100,000), Virginia was sixth lowest (1.8 per 100,000), and the District had 0.6 per 100,000 residents, the lowest rate of DUI-related deaths.
AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend specifically praised Maryland for taking more aggressive approaches in passing tougher laws against drunk driving.
Maryland lawmakers recently passed Noah’s law, named after Noah Leotta, a Montgomery County police officer struck and killed by a drunk driver in December of 2015. The new measure taking effect in October will require motorists convicted of DUI to have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles.
For a mandated six months, drivers will be forced to blow into the device to verify that they haven’t had too much to drink. Refusal will result in license suspension for the same amount of time. The new measure will go into effect this October.
Another study by Alcoholic.org showed Maryland as the ninth lowest state for drugged driving-related deaths (2.0 per 100,000). However, fatalities saw a massive jump from 2014 to 2015, an increase of 158.7 percent. Three rural counties (St. Mary’s, Queen Anne and Worcester) accounted for most driving deaths caused by the use of illegal and prescription drugs.