MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Following the death of Officer Noah Leotta, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger delivered a passionate and forceful speech about Maryland DUI laws.  

PREVIOUS STORYMontgomery Co. officer hit by suspected drunk driver has died

During his speech, Chief Manger said, "Maryland has some of the weakest drunk driving penalties in the country."

WATCH: Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger delivered a passionate speech about Maryland DUI laws.  

Officer Leotta died Thursday morning, nearly one week after he was hit by a suspected drunk driver after a traffic stop. The 24-year-old officer was working with the holiday alcohol task for at the time of the accident, trying to get drunk drivers off the road.

"This officer was killed serving the public, trying to prevent the exact crime that killed him, Manger said. 

Manger said Officer Leotta is the 36th person to die in Montgomery County this year. One-third of those crashes involved drunk drivers, the police chief said. 

"There's little chance of real justice being done. Because until the State of Maryland starts taking these crimes seriously, and I'm talking about the crime of a drunk driver getting behind the wheel of a car who's killing someone, until they take this crime seriously, there is no justice for these families. There is no justice for these victims," Manger said.

Officer Leotta grew up in Montgomery County, was a Sherwood High School graduate and attended Montgomery College.

"The residents of this county lost a great cop," Manger said.  

PHOTOS: Tribute for fallen Montgomery County police officer Noah Leotta

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