Sep. 2—Maryland State Police said they will conduct patrols Labor Day weekend to target impaired, aggressive and distracted driving.
Saturation patrols are planned at all 23 barracks in anticipation of an increase in impaired driving, state police said in a news release Friday. The patrols will include areas known to have higher arrests or crashes due to driving under the influence.
"Among those initiatives will be DUI saturation patrols among the major highways across the state, including I-695 in Baltimore County, I-70 in Howard, Frederick and Washington counties, I-495 in the Washington Metro region and Route 50 from Anne Arundel County to Ocean City," the release said.
State police will partner with other law enforcement and state agencies on enforcement and to push out the message across the community through social media and electronic billboards.
"According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration's Highway Safety Office, the state averaged 169 fatalities and 2,998 injuries due to impaired driving crashes annually between 2017 and 2021," the release said.
Police offered tips for those attending and hosting Labor Day gatherings.
If you are attending a Labor Day 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-for-hire 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 Labor Day gathering:
— Remember that 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-for-hire apps readily available.
— Take away the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller