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Mayland Lawmaker Wants DUI Laws Strengthened

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By David Schultz

A bill before the Maryland General Assembly would require anyone convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device. It disables their car's ignition until the driver passes a breathalyzer test.

State Senator Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Silver Spring, says threatening drunk drivers with a revoked license isn't working.

"If you take their license away," he says, "They keep driving anyway. Every study shows [this]."

For him, this issue is unequivocal.

"I don't talk about morality a lot down here because people have different perceptions of what's right and what's wrong," he says. "But it is just immoral for us to have a known way to dramatically lower the incidents of drunk driving fatalities in our state and for us not to take it."

Currently, judges in Maryland are able to order offenders to install an ignition interlock. But Raskin, citing a Mothers Against Drunk Driving study, says they do this in just 5 percent of DUI cases.

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