Pikesville, MD –  December 23, 2019 – The Maryland State Police will be working to ensure motorists get to and from their travel destinations safely between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks who patrol every county will continue to focus enforcement efforts on impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other violations that often contribute to highway tragedies, especially during the holiday season.  Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments funded by highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office.

State troopers will be using a variety of patrol initiatives between Christmas Eve and New Year’s to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers.

Last year between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, Maryland State Police made 171 DUI arrests, 69 criminal arrests and 36 drug-related arrests. Troopers also issued 5,828 citations and 6,165 warnings and responded to 616 crashes and 10,527 calls for service.

Among those assisting with this initiative will be the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, or SPIDRE, team. The targeted law enforcement program was launched in May 2013 and focuses on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.

Every year more than 160 lives are lost and thousands more are injured in Maryland in crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. In addition, 183 people die and 27,000 more are injured each year in Maryland due to distracted driving. Please don’t drive impaired, distracted or aggressively over the holiday travel season.

If you are attending a Christmas and/or a New Year’s Eve gathering:

  • Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
  • If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
  • Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
  • Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
  • If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
  • Always buckle up.
  • Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.

If you are hosting a Christmas and/or a New Year’s Eve gathering:

  • Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Have contact information for local taxi companies and/or ride-share services readily available.
  • Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
  • Troopers are urging motorists to avoid impaired driving and plan for a designated driver or a sober ride home. Help us keep Maryland highways safe throughout this holiday season.