ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland bill named after a Montgomery County police officer killed by a drunk driver last year was signed into law.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed "Noah's Law” in a ceremony at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Thursday. It is named after 24-year-old Officer Noah Leotta and now requires anyone convicted of drunk driving in Maryland to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicle to operate it.
Officer Leotta was fatally hit on Dec. 3 in Rockville while he was out on patrol on a DUI task force. He was struck and killed by a man who had been drinking whiskey and beer for four hours prior and had a blood alcohol content of .22 – three times the legal limit.
"When you are drinking and you get out there afterward and you're drunk, it's like you have loaded that gun while you were drinking and you have closed your eyes and who knows what you are going to do,” said Rich Leotta, the officer’s father. “You are going to hurt yourself and many other people.”
"The fact that it took the death of a police officer under the circumstances that occurred to get this passed is a shame,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger. “Maybe if this bill had been passed a few years ago, Noah Leotta would still be patrolling the streets of Montgomery County today.”
Rich Leotta's harshest words were for Luis Reluzco, who pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter on Wednesday. Leotta’s father said that man acted irresponsible and executed his son.
On Wednesday, Reluzco’s attorney said his client supports Noah's Law.