Maryland State Police To Increase Patrols Ahead Of Christmas, New Year’s Traffic Surges

Press Release, Maryland State Police

(PIKESVILLE, Md.) – The Maryland State Police will be working to ensure motorists get to and from their travel destination safely between Christmas and New Year’s.

Troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks who patrol every county will continue to focus enforcement efforts on impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other violations that often contribute to highway tragedies, especially during the holiday season.  Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments funded by highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office.

Extra holiday traffic this week through New Year’s includes additional Maryland state troopers who will be using a variety of patrol initiatives to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers.

Through Nov. 30, state police have made 6,689 DUI arrests, compared to 6,508 over the same period in 2017. During distracted driving enforcement, troopers have made 32,839 traffic stops and issued 15,194 citations and 17,638 warnings through Nov. 30. This compared to 36,269 traffic stops and issuing 16,934 citations and 19,334 warnings for distracted driving over the same period in 2017.

Among those assisting with this initiative will be the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, or SPIDRE, team. The targeted law enforcement program was launched in May 2013 and focuses on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.

This weekend inclement weather is forecast for up and down the East Coast, including the I-95 corridor in Maryland. Drivers are reminded to reduce speed and increase following distances during periods of rain or snow. Drivers can always check on the latest travel conditions in Maryland by visiting md511.org or by dialing 511.

Every year more than 160 lives are lost and thousands more are injured in Maryland in crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Please don’t drink and drive over the holiday travel season.

If you are attending a Christmas and/or a New Year’s Eve 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 Christmas and/or a New Year’s Eve 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 and/or ride-share services readily available.
  • Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.

Troopers are urging motorists to avoid impaired driving and plan for a designated driver or a sober ride home. Help us keep Maryland highways safe throughout this holiday season.

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