BALTIMORE, MD—As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, Maryland State Police are urging those who plan to celebrate with alcohol to be safe and smart and to avoid impaired, distracted, and aggressive driving.
In preparation for the expected high volume of traffic and the potential for many more impaired drivers than on a typical weekend, troopers will be out in force from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.
With an increase in impaired drivers expected throughout the state this holiday weekend, state police will be conducting saturation patrols at each of the 23 barracks focusing on impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving. Enforcement will be bolstered by impaired driving saturation patrol funds from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.
The initiatives, which will take place on various days through Monday, May 30, include saturation patrols in areas known to have a higher number of DUI crashes or arrests. These efforts in many cases will include partnering with allied law enforcement and other state agencies to both enforce the law and offer outreach to the community through social media and electronic billboards.
Among those initiatives will be DUI saturation patrols among the major highways across the state, including I-695 in Baltimore County, I-70 in Howard, Frederick and Washington counties, I-495 in the Washington Metro region and Route 50 from Anne Arundel County to Ocean City.
The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort Team (SPIDRE team) will also be out this weekend. The goal of the SPIDRE team is to focus on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office, the state averaged 164 fatalities and 3,073 injuries due to impaired driving crashes annually between 2016 and 2020. Authorities say these deaths and injuries were preventable.
If you are attending a Memorial Day gathering:
- Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
- If you’re planning on driving, 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, call police.
- Always buckle up.
- Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a Memorial 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 guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
- Take away the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.