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State Lawmakers Propose Way to Stop Drunk Driving - WYPR

Last month, Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta was struck and killed by a drunken driver who had had three previous drunk driving arrests. According to Montgomery County Police Capt. Thomas Didone, Leotta would still be alive if the driver had to pass a breathalyzer test before getting behind the wheel.

"Absolutely should not have been on the road," Didone said in Annapolis Wednesday. "Probably someone that has a problem with alcohol, and because he had three priors, if we had had a strong interlock law, this collision wouldn't have occurred and Noah would still be alive ."

Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, said he wants Maryland to require all convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices that do just that.

“You can drive wherever you want to go, but you can't do it drunk," he said. "So you breathe into the breathalyzer and if you pass it, you drive, and if you fail it, you can't drive.”

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the 26 states with similar laws have reduced drunk driving-related deaths by 30 percent or more.

Current Maryland law only requires the devices for drivers caught with nearly twice the legal blood alcohol limit, those driving drunk with children in the car, and those younger than 21.

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