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Three Md. bills on ignition interlocks

Monday, March 8, 2010; B03

Maryland's House of Delegates is considering three bills that would require the use of ignition interlocks by first-time offenders and by those charged with drunken driving who receive probation before judgment.

-- HB 515, sponsored by Del. Tanya Thornton Shewell (R-Carroll), would require use for one year without exception.

-- HB 630, sponsored by Del. Luiz Simmons (D-Montgomery), would require use up to three years, although a judge is permitted to rule otherwise after considering whether the violation involved personal injury or property damage; whether the driver willingly submitted to an alcohol test; whether an interlock would be a hardship on the driver or the driver's family; whether the driver has received treatment for alcohol abuse; whether the driver poses a danger; whether the driver is likely to drive drunk again; and whether there are "any other factors bearing on the interests of the defendant or the public."

-- HB 743, sponsored by Del. Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery), requires use for at least six months without exception.

-- Ashley Halsey III

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