Only One DUI Arrest Snagged in Charles County St. Patrick's Day Snare

Sheriff Coffey Attributes Single Arrest to Citizens Choosing to Celebrate Responsibly

LA PLATA, Md. (March 22, 2010)—Public education about drunk driving and respective enforcement appear to have netted positive results in Charles County.  Despite 778 vehicles passing through a sobriety checkpoint in Waldorf on St. Patrick's Day, only one driver was found to illegally under the influence.

Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said it appears most people heeded the sheriff's office warnings regarding impaired driving and chose to celebrate responsibly.

Overall, 403 people were arrested for DUI in Maryland on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

The Charles County checkpoint was conducted between 7 p.m. and midnight by members of the Charles County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit and patrol officers near St. Patrick's Drive and St. Phillips Drive in Waldorf.

The overall results of the checkpoint include:

-- 778 motorists passed through the checkpoint.
-- 1 person arrested for DUI - Derrick O'Neal Hopkins, 39, of Waldorf
-- 11 citations were issued
-- 1 warning issued
-- 1 equipment repair order issued

Following the checkpoint, officers saturated the area and enforced traffic laws while looking for impaired drivers: Officers issued 1 citation, 7 warnings, and 5 equipment repair orders.

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