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Signs Of Progress A Year After Noah's Law Is Put In Place

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- It was one year ago when Noah's Law put an ignition interlock device on every convicted first time drunk driver. It's working, but drunk drivers are still making our roads far too dangerous.

It was a bittersweet moment for Rich and Marcia Leotta as Noah's Law was passed.

Every two minutes someone is injured and every 50 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver.

"None of this wouldn't have happened if my son hadn't been sacrificed," Rich said last year.

Twenty-four year-old Noah Leotta, a Montgomery County officer, was struck and killed by a drunk driver, while he worked a DUI checkpoint. Friday, his picture is on every ignition interlock device handed out to each and every convicted drunk driver in the State.

"Noah had spoken to me a week before he was struck and he told me a couple of key things," Rich said. "He told me our laws were too weak and our judges were too lenient."

Rich Leotta is still on a mission. Even though because of Noah's Law, in the past year, the use of ignition interlock devices is up 10 percent. For first time offenders it's 25 percent, and an estimated 2,000 people who were legally drunk were prevented from driving.

"Drunk and drugged drivers are involved in about a third of all Maryland deaths," said Maryland Department of Transportation secretary Pete Rahn.

And the State is concerned leading into the holiday weekend.

"Many people see Halloween as another reason to make it a drinking event,"Rahm said.

With Halloween on a Tuesday celebrations can become a five-day event.

With children out trick-or-treating, the hazards multiply. Which is why October is one of the deadliest months for pedestrian crashes.

Law enforcement also launched a 'Look Out and Look Up' program Friday urging both drivers and pedestrians to be alert. One hundred and eleven pedestrians were killed in Maryland last year.

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