(PIKESVILLE, MD.) — The Maryland State Police urge motorists to stay safe during the Labor Day weekend and avoid impaired, distracted and aggressive driving.
State troopers from all 23 barracks will conduct saturation patrols throughout the holiday weekend as part of the “No DUI Friday” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiative. Enforcement is bolstered by funds from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.
Statewide initiatives focus on preventing impaired, aggressive and distracted driving in areas where data indicates high numbers of crashes or arrests. The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort team, or SPIDRE, will also be working to remove impaired drivers from Maryland roads.
SPIDRE, a specialized unit of trained troopers who are focused on identifying impaired drivers, has made more than 4,353 DUI arrests since its inception in May 2013. The team is funded by a grant from MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office and aims to reduce alcohol-related injuries and fatalities in Maryland.
The MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office said crashes are no accidents. There were on average 169 fatalities and 2,998 injuries annually from 2017 and 2021 due to impaired driving, according to the department. Nearly all of these deaths and injuries were preventable.
Among the planned initiatives:
— Caroline, Dorchester & Talbot counties: The Easton Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on RT. 50 and 404.
— Somerset County: The Princess Anne Barrack will focus enforcement efforts along RT. 13 and 413.
— Wicomico County: The Salisbury Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on RT. 50 and 13.
If you are attending a Labor Day gathering:
— Designate a sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
— If you’re planning on driving, then avoid drinking.
— Consider using public transportation. Call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
— Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
— If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, then call the police.
— Don’t drive distracted, text or use a cellphone that is not hands-free. Always buckle up.
If you are hosting a Labor Day gathering:
— Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
— Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
— Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guests who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
— Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
— Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
Source: Maryland State Police Newsroom
Written by: Editor