(PIKESVILLE, MD) – With an increase in impaired drivers expected on Wednesday and the next few days for Cinco de Mayo, Maryland State Police are urging those who plan to celebrate with alcohol to be safe and avoid impaired and distracted driving.
To address this concern, troopers will be conducting saturation patrols at each of the 23 barracks focusing on impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving. Enforcement efforts are bolstered in part by impaired driving saturation patrol grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.
Initiatives include saturation patrols in areas known to have a higher number of DUI crashes or arrests. Additional troopers will be assigned as needed. Every year more than 160 lives are lost and thousands of more people are injured in Maryland crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort Team, also known as the SPIDRE team will also be a part of these saturation efforts from Wednesday night through Saturday this week. Since its inception in May 2013, the SPIDRE team has made 3,637 DUI arrests, with over 12,000 traffic stops and issuing over 25,000 citations along with nearly 6.000 warnings. 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.
If you are attending a Cinco de Mayo gathering;
- Designate a sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys
- If you plan on driving, avoid drinking alcohol
- Consider using public transportation, a taxi, or ride-sharing service if there is no sober driver
- If you see an impaired driver, call police
- Don’t text while driving, or use a cellphone that is not hands-free, or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo gathering;
- 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 are set up ahead of time
- Have contact information for taxi’s or ride-sharing options
- Take away the keys from someone who is thinking of driving impaired.