30 August 2023- 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:
- Anne Arundel County: The Annapolis and Glen Burnie barracks will focus enforcement efforts on routes 50, 295 and Interstate 97.
- Baltimore County: The Golden Ring Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on interstates 695, 795 and 83.
- Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties: The Easton Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on routes 50 and 404.
- Cecil and Harford counties: The JFK Memorial Highway, Bel Air and North East barracks will focus enforcement efforts on Interstate 95 and routes 1, 7, 24 and 40.
- Garrett County: The McHenry Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on Interstate 68 and Route 219.
- Kent and Queen Anne’s counties: The Centreville Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on routes 301, 20 and 50.
- Prince George’s County: The College Park and Forestville barracks will focus enforcement efforts on routes 5 and 50 and Interstate 495.
- Somerset County: The Princess Anne Barrack will focus enforcement efforts along routes 13 and 413.
- Washington County: The Hagerstown Barrack will conduct DUI saturation patrols on interstates 70 and 81.
- Wicomico County: The Salisbury Barrack will focus enforcement efforts on routes 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.