Drunk driving becomes a bigger problem around the holidays, and in Maryland, the punishment for a certain kind of drunk driver could soon be on the rise.
Del. Sam Arora of Montgomery County has introduced a bill for next month's General Assembly session that would put a breathalyzer ignition lock in the car of any driver convicted of drunk driving with a child in the car. Currently, a lock can only be imposed as punishment if the driver has a blood alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit.
Arora thinks that's too high a threshold for a drunk driver caught with a child in the car. His bill would impose the lock for those caught anywhere higher than the legal limit of .08.
"Children don't really have a say as to how they are going to get around," says Arora. "They're usually beholden to parents and other caregivers. I just think every child deserves a designated driver."
Arora says the number of DUIs in Maryland where a child is present in the car has risen 10 percent in the past two years.
"Last year we even saw a woman in Salisbury pulled over multiple times within a 3-hour span for driving drunk with a child in the car," he says.
Currently, the locks can only be imposed if the driver had a blood alcohol limit of 0.15, which is nearly twice the legal limit.