Today Governor Larry Hogan joined Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, State Delegate Ben Kramer, Maryland State Police Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Montgomery County Police Police Chief Tom Manger, and numerous others in unveiling a new sign dedicating a portion of Maryland Route 97 in Olney to honor Officer Noah A. Leotta, whose tragic death by a drunk driver last December led to the passage of the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016 (Noah’s Law), which goes into effect this October 1. Officer Leotta was struck by a drunk driver on December 3 while pulling over another suspected drunk driver while on patrol. He died from the injuries a week later.
Following his death, Officer Leotta’s family, friends and fellow officers worked with state elected officials to pass Noah’s Law, which mandates the use of an ignition interlock system upon convictions for driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI) while transporting a minor under age 18, driving while intoxicated with an initial breathalyzer refusal, and homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI. Said Chief Manger,
Last December, Officer Noah Leotta was killed doing a job he loved. Because of Noah’s Law, he is still saving lives. The signs we unveil today reminds all of us of Noah’s service and sacrifice.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, impaired drivers have accounted for roughly one third of all roadway deaths in Maryland over the last five years. Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program began in 1989, and Noah’s Law is projected to add several thousand drunk drivers to the program. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, convicted drunk drivers with ignition interlock devices on their vehicles are 35-37 percent less likely to have a repeat drunk driving offense. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration reports that the program prevented nearly 4,000 drunk driving trips last year alone.