ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Oyango Snell, state government relations counsel, for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), issued the following statement in response to Senate Bill 302 and House Bill 864 otherwise known as Noah’s Law which was originally designed to keep drunk drivers off the street by locking a vehicle’s ignition switch. However, recent action by the Maryland legislature has additional amendments which could delay the bill from passing this session.
“It’s critical we work together to keep drunk drivers off the streets and insurers support initiatives like this that have the potential to save lives in the state of Maryland by keeping drunk drivers off the roads. However, the punitive damages amendments have nothing to do with deterring drunk drivers.
“In fact, the punitive damages amendments are counterproductive as they prevent drunk drivers from being responsible for their own actions. Unfortunately these amendments may allow drunk drivers to have a sense of security that insurers will be forced to protect them no matter what, if they drive drunk.
“PCI continues to work with lawmakers to keep Noah’s Law focused on ignition interlocks for drunk drivers and keeping these drivers off the streets, rather than insurance to protect the drunk drivers.”