Road and boat-based Troopers and police beefing up patrols for July 4th Holiday

03 July 2024- Maryland State Police beginning Wednesday will increase enforcement efforts on impaired, aggressive and distracted driving through the July 4th holiday weekend.

State troopers from all 23 barracks across Maryland will conduct saturation patrols from Wednesday to Monday. Increased enforcement efforts are funded by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort team—a specialized unit trained to identify impaired drivers—will also work to reduce alcohol-related injuries and fatalities. The SPIDRE Team is funded by a grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office.

Maryland State Police safety initiatives are focused on preventing dangerous driving behaviors and to save lives. Initiatives can include partnering with allied law enforcement and state agencies to provide enforcement and community outreach via social. Among the planned initiatives:

  • Eastern Region: Troopers from the Berlin, Centreville, Easton, Princess Anne and Salisbury barracks will conduct high-visibility enforcement on major routes including 50, 13, 413 and work zones.
  • Central Region: Troopers from the College Park, Forestville, Golden Ring, Rockville, Waterloo and Westminster barracks will conduct high-visibility enforcement on interstates 495, 70 and 695. The Rockville Barrack will also partner with Montgomery County Police to conduct a DUI checkpoint on Friday along MD Route 650.
  • Western Region: Troopers from the Cumberland, Frederick, Hagerstown and McHenry barracks will conduct high-visibility enforcement in areas known to have a higher number of traffic-related incidents including interstates 68, 70 and Route 219.
  • Northern Region: Troopers from the Bel Air, JFK Memorial Highway and North East barracks will conduct high-visibility enforcement along areas known to have a higher number of impaired driving crashes and throughout the Harford and Cecil counties. This includes routes 22, 24, 40, 1 and 213.
  • Southern Region: Troopers from the Annapolis, Glen Burnie, La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick barracks will conduct high-visibility enforcement along Route 50 and interstates 695, 97 and throughout state roads in their respective counties.
  • If you are attending a Fourth of July event:
    • Designate a sober driver. Give that person your car keys.
    • Avoid drinking if you are planning to drive.
    • Consider using public transportation. Call a taxi or use a ride-share service.
    • Do not let friends drive if you think they are impaired.
    • Call the police if you see someone who you believe is driving impaired.
    • Always buckle up.
    • Do not text, drive distracted or use a cellphone that is not hands-free.
    If you are hosting a Fourth of July event:
    • Remember that 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 available.
    • Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
    • Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking about driving impaired.

In addition to land-based MSP Troopers, Maryland’s Natural Resources Police will be participating in additional patrols and checks.

Because of the high volume of activity during the July 4 holiday, it’s statistically one of the most dangerous times on Maryland’s waterways. Boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains a major issue not just in Maryland, but nationwide. In response, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, NRP will once again participate in the national Operation Dry Water, which includes heightened awareness and enforcement from July 4-6.

“The Fourth of July weekend is the busiest boating holiday of the year,” said Natural Resources Police Col. Orlando Lilly. “NRP’s presence on the water will be significant, with saturation patrols spanning nearly every county in the state. It’s our goal to ensure the safety of everyone on the water, and our involvement in Operation Dry Water gives us opportunities to educate boaters on the dangers of drinking and operating, as well as removing unsafe and impaired operators from our waterways when necessary.”

Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating incidents, while more than 90 percent of Maryland’s fatal boating accident victims in the past five years were not wearing a life jacket.

In Maryland, an individual convicted of operating a vessel on the waters of Maryland while under the influence of alcohol, or any narcotic, drug, or barbiturate, can face up to one year of imprisonment and revocation of their boating license.