GLEN BURNIE, MD (March 11, 2021) – This year St. Patrick’s Day may look a little different as Maryland continues to stress social distancing and COVID-19 precautions. But for those planning to celebrate with family and friends, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety and local law enforcement want to make sure they stay safe by driving sober or making a plan for a sober ride home.
For the fourth year, more than 20 transportation and law enforcement agencies from Maryland and Delaware will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints along the 145 miles of US 13 (Ocean Highway) and nearly 75 miles of US 113 (Worcester Highway) on the Delmarva Peninsula beginning Thursday, March 11, and continuing through Sunday, March 21. St. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, March 17.
“Impaired driving is never the right choice so if you do plan to go out, be sure make plan ahead for a sober ride home,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Every year, families lose loved ones to impaired driving crashes. It’s up to each of us to prevent these tragedies from occurring.”
In 2019, 535 people were killed on Maryland’s roadways and one-third of those deaths involved someone impaired by alcohol, drugs or both. During last year’s enforcement effort, participating agencies issued 703 citations in Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties – including 205 for speeding – and made 18 arrests for impaired driving.
To coincide with the high visibility enforcement, the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office will also share Be the Make A Plan Driver and Be the Sober Driver messages on a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Maryland law enforcement agencies taking part this year include Maryland State Police’s Berlin & Salisbury Barracks, Easton Police Department, Delmar Police Department, Queen Anne County Sheriff, Denton Police Depart, Caroline County Sheriff, Wicomico County Sheriff, Salisbury Police Department, Fruitland Police Depart, and the Princess Anne Police Department. Delaware State Police, and local Delaware agencies including Clayton Police Department, Bridgeville Police Department, Dagsboro Police Department, Delmar Police Department, Dewey Beach Police Department, Fenwick Island Police Department, Lewes Police Department, Middletown Police Department, Newark Police Department, Ocean View Police Department, Rehoboth Beach Police Department, Seaford Police Department will also participate.
In Delaware, the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) will also partner with additional agencies statewide for this year’s high visibility enforcement focused along the US 13 corridor. Last year during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, a total of 102 arrests for impaired driving were made statewide in Delaware.
Coinciding with high-visibility enforcement efforts, Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety will share the Be Driven Not to Drive campaign through a variety of platforms throughout the state including billboards, English and Spanish print media, social media platforms, music streaming services, and television/online streaming services. The campaign combines visible tactics with a publicity strategy to educate the public and promote safe driving behaviors in compliance with the law.
“Partnering with Maryland allows our efforts to be amplified as we combat impaired driving during this holiday period,” said Delaware OHS Deputy Director Richard Klepner. “OHS will partner with law enforcement throughout Delaware with increased visibility and presence on our roadways. There’s no excuse to drink and drive. Even one can be too many. Plan ahead to have a sober ride.”
In anticipation of the St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement and campaign initiatives, OHS has launched a first-of-its-kind digital tool called the Arrive Alive DE Visualizer DUI-Involved Crash Tool to share information with Delawareans and visitors on crash locations and educate website visitors to drive sober. Housed on the Arrive Alive DE website, this 5-year snapshot of DUI-involved crashes shows the concentration of crashes across the state through an interactive heat map.
In addition to the Arrive Alive DE Visualizer DUI-Involved Crash Tool, OHS has launched other versions of the digital tool for occupant protection and pedestrian safety. The Arrive Alive DE Visualizer is designed to educate drivers and pedestrians to help save lives in Delaware and Arrive Alive to their destination. Visit ArriveAliveDE.com to explore this digital tool and more on highway safety education in Delaware.
Additional information on Maryland’s Be the Driver campaign can be found here. More information on Delaware’s Arrive Alive campaign is available