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New Maryland Laws Taking Effect Tomorrow


Hundreds of Maryland laws are going into effect on Tuesday, October 1st, spanning subjects from criminal justice reform to election law to the state’s medical cannabis commission.  Some of the more notable changes are:

  • Senate Bill 317 – After fewer than five years of marriage, if a person with no living offspring but living parents dies without a will, the surviving spouse will inherit the first $40,000 of the estate. The rest is split between the spouse and the parents.  After five years of marriage, that spouse would inherit all of the estate.
  • House Bill 592 – Residents at comprehensive and extended care nursing home facilities will now have additional rights, including receiving written notice before being discharged and at least a three-day supply of medications at the time of discharge.
  • House Bill 1169 – The minimum age for purchasing or being sold tobacco products, which includes cigarettes, cigars, electronic smoking devices or “vapes”, and any related paraphernalia, will be raised from 18 to 21, exempting active duty military members 18 or older with a military ID.
  • House Bill 55 – All new ignition interlock systems will include cameras to capture still images to use as proof of violations during the process of the breath analysis to determine the blood alcohol level before the vehicle starts. Current participants will not need to update existing devices unless it fails, they get a new vehicle or they are removed and re-enter the system.
  • House Bill 707 – The penalties for drunk and drugged driving offenses are becoming more severe. If you have prior convictions for operating either a vehicle or vessel under the influence, or if you commit a homicide in the process, there are now longer sentences and more costly fines.

For a more expansive list of Maryland’s new laws, visit

If you have any questions or concerns about how these new laws will affect you, please contact an attorney at Azrael Franz.

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