Maryland continues fight against impaired driving with national and local partners

Maryland continues fight against impaired driving with national and local partners

According to statistics released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at a press conference in Rockville, 235 people died in impaired driving crashes in Maryland last year. Despite the reported 18 percent decrease in fatalities compared to last year, the State of Maryland and its partners are redoubling efforts in the continuous battle against impaired drivers.
Traffic crashes involving impaired driving account for more than one-third of all fatal crashes in the State. In 2004, Maryland lost 286 people, approximately 45 percent of the 643 total traffic deaths, to impaired driving-related crashes. Since 2004, efforts in engineering, education and enforcement have combined to lower statewide fatalities.
"Hundreds of Marylanders are killed each year by drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs," said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. "Today's numbers prove that these deaths can be avoided as our preventive measures and our efforts to promote responsible decision making are implemented. My administration is working to make Maryland a safer place to live."
During 2005, State and local law enforcement officers conducted more than 150 sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to catch drunk drivers and educate people on the dangers of impaired driving. Combined with marketing and outreach efforts, the State invested $2.2 million to enforce laws and educate motorists about impaired driving. This effort, which made contact with more than 73,870 motorists, removed 495 drunk or drugged drivers from Maryland's roadways.
Maryland has kicked off its Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis on August 29.