Drunk Driving: Over The Limit, Under Arrest - Southern Maryland Headline News

Drunk Driving: Over The Limit, Under Arrest

Charles County Sheriff’s Office Joins America’s Checkpoint Strikeforce

LA PLATA, Md. - When it comes to drinking and driving, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office has one message this holiday season: If you’re over the limit, you’re under arrest.

The message and the aggressive enforcement efforts that support it are part of Checkpoint Strikeforce, a holiday traffic-safety campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to prevent drinking and driving and arrest drunk drivers.

The holiday season between Thanksgiving and the New Year is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year on our nation’s roadways because of impaired drivers. According to NHTSA, 1,033 people across America were killed last December in crashes involving a driver with an illegal blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or more. During Checkpoint Strikeforce, law enforcement agencies help prevent such tragedies by conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office will conduct sobriety checkpoints and officers patrolling the roadways for impaired drivers are operating under a no-tolerance policy. During a checkpoint held Dec. 8, none of the 600 vehicles who passed through it were found to be intoxicated.

The Sheriff’s Office is also asking for help from the community. Anyone who sees a driver who may be impaired is asked to contact law enforcement immediately and provide as much information as possible about the vehicle including its make, model, color, tag number and direction of travel.

So far this year, 30 people have been killed in 27 crashes in Charles County, 13 of which are believed to be alcohol-related. In 2005, 40 people were killed in 34 crashes, 17 of which were alcohol-related.

To report an impaired driver, call the Sheriff’s Office at 301-932-2222 in La Plata, 301-743-2222 in Indian Head and 301-932-7777 in Waldorf. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

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