Drunk Driver Checkpoints Planned for Saturday in Tri-County Area

SO. MARYLAND (April 25, 2008) - On Saturday, April 26, officers from Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s County law enforcement agencies will be conducting Checkpoint Strikeforce sobriety checkpoints. Travelers should expect to come upon sobriety checkpoints throughout Southern Maryland as they travel through each county.

Checkpoints are designed not only to arrest impaired drivers, deter others from driving impaired, and raise public awareness of law enforcement and other efforts to reduce and enforce impaired driving laws, according to Jacqueline Beckman, Community Traffic Safety Program Coordinator for St. Mary's County.

According to Beckman, in the recent past, the percentage of fatalities in motor vehicles crashes involving impaired driving in St. Mary’s County has been as high as 60% The national average is 41%. The age of impaired drivers arrested in St. Mary’s County averages between 33-46 years of age.

Beckman suggests that people who plan to use alcohol be smart and designate a driver or find another safe and sober way home.

The La Plata Barrack of the Maryland State Police also announced that they will be conducting DUI saturation patrols on Sunday, April 27.  A spokesman for the barrack noted that the planned operations is not a check point, but rather an assignment where troopers patrol with specific attention to traffic and DUI violations.

A statement released today to advise about the checkpoints sums it up best: "If you do not have safe and sober transportation plan to stay put. If all else fails, anticipate a direct ride to jail provided by your local law enforcement. If you drive under the influence, or are over the limit, you will be under arrest."

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