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What is Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Drunk Driving

The Maryland Ignition Interlock Program got its start in 1989, and since then, it was expanded to include more drivers in 2011 with the Drunk Driving Reduction Act. It was then again expanded in 2016 under Noah’s Law.

Ignition interlock programs can offer drivers who have been convicted or charged with a drunk driving offense a chance to keep driving.

What is an Ignition Interlock device?

The Ignition Interlock is a device that is designed to prevent drunk drivers from starting their vehicles. The vehicle will only start when the driver blows into the device, and the driver has a blood alcohol content level under a certain predetermined limit. According to the MVA, when installed, interlocks are associated with a 70% reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving. 

You can elect to enter into the Ignition Interlock program if your license has been suspended due to an impaired driving conviction. 

How long does someone have to be in the Ignition Interlock Program?

Once accepted into the program, you would need to participate for 180-days if you submitted to a test indicating an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15.

One year of participation is required if your test indicated a BAC of 0.15 or higher, while refusal to be tested automatically requires one year of participation. 

What are some violations that could get someone removed from the program?

Anyone who is found to have violated any of the program provisions will be removed and the MVA will suspend their license for the full period. 

Some of those violations include:

  • Failure to have the ignition interlock device installed.
  • Failure to appear for the required monthly monitoring visit.
  • Operating a motor vehicle that is not fitted with the interlock.
  • Failure to comply with all terms and conditions of the program and pay all costs and fees.
  • Tampering with, bypassing, or trying to remove the interlock.
  • Attempting to start the vehicle with a BAC great than 0.025.

The service provider will instruct you regarding ignition interlock failures and what to do to avoid them.

Maryland’s Ignition Interlock program is a way to get you back on the road after a license suspension due to a DUI or DWI charge. Always seek legal support anytime you are facing charges related to operating a motor vehicle.