Drunk Drivers in Maryland May Soon Have to Carry Increased Liability Insurance


Persons who have been convicted twice of driving under the influence of alcohol will be compelled to avail of increased liability insurance, if the legislator’s bill of Carroll County in Maryland is passed into a law.

Drunk Drivers in Maryland May Soon Have to Carry Increased Liability InsuranceRepublican District 5A Del. Tanya Shewell, who is a sponsor of the bill, is in favor of requiring persons who have had two drunken-driving convictions to avail of liability insurance worth $100,000 (for one individual injured or killed in a road mishap) and up to $300,000 (for two or more individuals injured or killed). Additionally, these persons will also be required to carry $100,000 worth of insurance for destruction of property.

House Bill 526 has already been reviewed by the legislature in ate-February by the House Economic Matters Committee at the House Office Building at Annapolis.

Shewell said that the bill intends to ensure that there will be more insurance support for personal liability to cover expenses for persons who get into a road mishap due to drunk drivers.

Currently, the State of Maryland requires car owners to carry a minimum personal liability scheme of $20,000 (if one individual is killed or injured), $40,000 (if two or more individuals are killed or injured), and $15,000 (to cover for property damage).

Shewell explained that by increasing the required personal liability insurance amount for people with multiple drunk-driving convictions, their insurance premiums would increase and would become an inherent deterrent to discourage impaired driving on the road.

Both the Carroll County State’s Attorney and Maryland Auto Insurance Fund are expected to support House Bill 526. The Fund currently provides insurance coverage for car owners who are unable to avail of private insurance. Shewell said that the Fund will still be able to provide insurance for drivers once the bill gets passed into a law since only a ‘little bit more’ will be levied on top of the current cost.

Maryland Insurance Administration spokeswoman Karen Barrow said that the agency has not yet taken a definitive stance of the bill since they are in the process of evaluating the potential impact of the legislation on the automobile insurance market.

Meanwhile, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced that he is in favor of compelling drivers with one-time drunk-driving convictions to install ‘ignition locking systems’ in their cars to prevent them from using the vehicle ‘if they have had too much to drink.’

The ‘ignition lock measure’ would compel drunk drivers to cover the costs for the installation of the system in their car, especially if they are handed a conviction for drunk-driving or if they are given probation after the charge.