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Increased Penalties for Impaired Drivers, Expanded Ignition Interlock Program and Human Trafficking Prevention Training for CDL Holders Among Laws Effective October 1

GLEN BURNIE, MD (October 1, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is updating systems and programs to support new laws related to highway safety that are taking effect this month.

Earlier this year, Governor Larry Hogan signed into law House Bill 707, which increases penalties for first-time and subsequent DUI or DWI convictions. The law, taking effect October 1, includes increased fines and jail time for repeat offenders and the doubling of penalties for first and repeat offenders if they transport a minor while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“Our No.1 goal is to prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roadways,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Impaired driving is a complex problem that requires multifaceted approach. These new laws are another tool we have to fight impaired driving in Maryland.”

The stiffer penalties are the latest effort to combat impaired driving. In 2016, Governor Hogan introduced legislation that became Noah’s Law, a measure that expanded Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program to mandate that interlock devices be installed in vehicles of convicted drunk drivers, even for the first conviction.

This year, Governor Hogan signed another measure that further expands Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program​ to include a camera in the vehicle of any new participant in the program, which is managed by MDOT MVA. The camera does not record sound or video but captures images that allows program managers to verify that the correct person is using the device and that it’s in good working order.

In addition to working to keep drivers and pedestrians safe on the road, MDOT MVA is expanding an outreach campaign aimed at the prevention of human trafficking. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including in the United States, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

A law taking effect this month requires all commercial driver’s license (CDL) training schools in Maryland to include human trafficking prevention training. MDOT MVA already includes educational information about human trafficking prevention in its CDL manual. This gives CDL holders information about how to recognize, prevent and report suspected human trafficking. 

MDOT MVA has also taken steps in recent years to educate the public about the prevention of human trafficking in Maryland, including posting information about the National Human Trafficking Hotline on the MDOT MVA website and on information screens in every branch location. The agency’s outreach is being expanded to customers performing driver’s license transactions and to those visiting the MDOT MVA eStore or a self-service kiosk. Customers utilizing these services will now receive a message regarding human trafficking prevention via their receipt.

For a complete list of laws taking effect that related to motor vehicles, go to MDOT MVA’s website:​.