Noah Leotta tribute

Officer Leotta’s Parents and Police Chief Tom Manger Push for ‘Noah’s Law’ in Annapolis

Noah Leotta tributeOfficer Noah Leotta’s parents and Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger joined Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Annapolis on Wednesday to push for stronger ignition interlock laws in Maryland.

At a news conference, MADD officials unveiled a report, dedicated to Officer Noah Leotta, on ignition interlock systems and the number of times the devices have stopped drivers from using vehicles across the country.

The report found that ignition interlock laws have prevented more than 1.7 million “would-be” drunk drivers from taking the wheel across the country.

An ignition interlock system prevents drivers from starting vehicles if the breathalyzer result detects blood alcohol levels (BAC) that’s higher than the level specified by state law. Currently, in Maryland, ignition interlock devices are only required for drivers with a blood level alcohol (BAC) of .15 or for repeat DUI offenders.  Maryland state lawmakers are pushing a bill, which has been renamed Noah’s Law, that would require interlock devices for drivers with a BAC of .08 or greater.

“[There’s] a drop of over 60 percent in states that have changed their laws to require ignition locks for first offenders. That’s why we’re calling [for] the state of Maryland and every state that has not yet done so, to pass a law,  Noah’s Law; to require all drunk drivers to use the interlock.” Chief Manger said. “We should not wait till someone becomes a repeat offender or twice the legal limit super drunk, or before they kill someone, before requiring this life saving technology,” he said.

Leotta’s father, Richard Leotta, spoke at the news conference and urged lawmakers for stricter DUI laws.

“It’s time that legislators and the Governor in every state embrace the law that’s being named for my son, Noah; to protect the public and the police. We’ve heard how many people that this potentially can save lives…and all the human misery that goes on, that I’m suffering today and will continue to suffer for the rest of my life. Imagine just saving one family from that heartache, saving your family from that heartache. Think about that.”

Chief Manger commended Officer Leotta’s parents for their efforts to promote Noah’s Law.

“I’m so profoundly grateful to Rich Leotta and his wife Marcia…I thank them for their courage, for their strength, for their voice and their will, to stand up in the midst of their grief to help save lives in the state of Maryland and save lives all over this country.”

To find out more about the state’s ignition interlock laws, visit the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) website.

Maureen Chowdhury

About Maureen Chowdhury

Maureen Chowdhury is a multimedia journalist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at mchowdhury@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @MediaMaureen. Maureen authors the blog Sound Check on MyMCMedia.

Comments

| No comments yet.



Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter