DUI Crackdown in Charles Planned for Coming Holiday Weekend

LA PLATA, Md. (June 29, 2010)—The flashing lights drunk drivers see this Fourth of July won’t be fireworks but the lights of a Charles County Sheriff’s Office patrol car instead. Officers will conduct a series of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols as part of an Independence Day weekend Drunk Driving: Over the Limit, Under Arrest enforcement blitz.

The Independence Day weekend is one of the deadliest on America’s roadways. In 2008, between 6 p.m. Fri., July 3 and 5:59 a.m. Mon., July 7, there were 491 traffic fatalities, 43 percent of which involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood-alcohol (BAC) level of .08 or higher, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“No matter how often we stress the dangers and consequences of drunk driving, inevitably someone feels invincible or simply doesn’t care and gets behind the wheel of the car after having too much to drink,” said Sheriff Rex Coffey. “The primary goal of this operation is to prevent people from making such a stupid decision in the first place but in the event that it doesn’t, we will have plenty of officers who will see to it that drunk drivers celebrate Independence Day behind bars.”

In addition to conducting the Independence Day weekend operation, the Sheriff’s Office is sharing following tips to help prevent drunk driving:

-- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;

-- Designate your sober driver before the party begins and leave your car keys at home;

-- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;

-- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1;

-- Remember the motto, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Drunk drivers not only risk killing themselves or someone else but also suffering the trauma and financial costs of a crash or arrest. Violators face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, insurance rate hikes and other unanticipated expenses.

For more information from NHTSA, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.

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