As part of their commitment to road safety and advanced training opportunities for officers, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office hosted a two-day training course on March 3 and 4 focusing on enhanced techniques for identifying people driving under the influence of drugs.

The training was the first of its kind to take place in Southern Maryland and consisted of two courses: the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and a course focused on the effects of cannabis on the human body.

Charles County Sheriff’s Office Hosts Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) Training Credit: Charles County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Troy Berry said, “We are committed to the safety of our roadways and motorists here in Charles County, and one way that we demonstrate that is by enforcing traffic laws particularly when it comes to driver impairment. It has always been a priority to keep impaired drivers off the roads, but it is now even more critical that officers are able to recognize when drivers are under the influence of drugs.”

The ARIDE course provides refresher training on the use of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and information on identifying persons driving under the influence of drugs. Participants gained a better understanding of the effects of drugs on a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, and how to identify the signs and symptoms caused by many different prescription and illicit drugs.

The second course provided information about cannabis usage and its effects. Officers gained a more in-depth understanding of the effects of cannabis on a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle and the ability to recognize the difference between the signs of legal cannabis use and the signs of impairment. The course was hosted in conjunction with the Chesapeake Regional Safety Council.

Instructors for these courses were provided by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and the La Plata Police Department. A total of 23 officers participated from Charles County, Calvert County, St Mary’s County, Maryland State Police, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Chesapeake Regional Safety Council for providing the funding for this training, Mission BBQ in Waldorf for providing lunch for the students, instructors and participants, and the Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department for providing the venue.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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