Monday, August 2, 2010

Impaired-Driving - August/Labor Day Enforcement

Frederick, Maryland – The problem of impaired-driving is a serious one. While America witnessed a decline in the number of impaired-driving fatalities from 2007-2008, the numbers are still too high. That’s why the Frederick Police Department announced today they are joining with other federal, state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials across the nation in support of an intensive crackdown on impaired driving this August through the Labor Day holiday.

The Frederick Police Department, along with their local and State law enforcement partners in Frederick County, will have saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints before and during the holiday in an effort to prevent and reduce traffic accidents. We also will support any DUI Check Points conducted by the Mid Western Highway Safety Task Force under Checkpoint Strikeforce.

In 2008 there were 8,137 impaired driving crashes in Maryland. Nearly 4,291 persons were injured in these crashes and 164 people lost their lives. In Frederick County there were 285 impaired driving related crashes, 6 of those resulted in fatalities.

Kim C. Dine, Chief of Police, Frederick Police Department said, “Our officers will be out there saving lives and reducing traffic accidents by enforcing traffic safety laws. Our proactive approach includes efforts at educating the public and apprising our citizens ahead of time to improve voluntary compliance. Enlightened communication with our citizens is one of the best ways to improve safety and the quality of life in our City. We want our citizens to know we will be out there protecting them and saving lives."

In every State as well as the District of Columbia it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. Approximately 10,000 police agencies will participate in the year’s mid-August through Labor Day crackdown, including law enforcement officers representing every State, the District of Columbia and many U.S. cities and towns.

According to the latest data, 32 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 g/dL or above – an average of one fatality every 45 minutes.

Whether you are having friends and family for a cookout, enjoying a day camping or at the lake, or attending a party, if you plan on using alcohol, do not drive – and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired. Designating a sober driver before the celebration begins and making sure friends don’t drive drunk are just two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving.

Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is simply not worth the risk, not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant. Violators often face jail time, loss of their driver’s licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Their insurance rates go up. Other financial costs include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential los of job or job prospects.

Don’t risk your freedom, your career, your license, or your life this August. Designate your sober driver before the party begins.

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