With extra traffic expected this Thanksgiving holiday, Maryland State Police will have additional troopers on patrol who will be using a variety of initiatives to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers.
Beginning Wednesday night, troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks statewide will be focusing enforcement efforts on impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other violations that often contribute to highway tragedies, especially during holiday seasons. Barracks across Maryland are using impaired driving grant funding from the MDOT/MVA Maryland Highway Safety Office to put additional troopers on the road. These troopers will be saturating areas known to have a higher frequency of impaired driving arrests or crashes. The enforcement focus of the troopers in these patrols will be solely on locating and arresting impaired drivers.
Troopers are urging travelers not to drive distracted, impaired or aggressively and to make traffic safety their first priority whenever they are behind the wheel. Last Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 22-26, 2017), troopers made 109 DUI arrests, stopped 9,033 vehicles, issued 1,815 speeding citations and 113 distracted driving citations, and made 34 criminal arrests and 20 drug arrests, while investigating 399 crashes, three of which involved fatalities.
It is estimated to cost someone arrested for impaired driving about $10,000 for legal fees, fines, lost wages and multiple other reasons. That cost is just for a simple arrest. If a crash is involved, the cost goes up exponentially, since a price cannot be placed on a life lost.
Drivers can check travel conditions and delays before traveling. MDOT State Highway Administration provides up-to-date traffic and road conditions at roads.maryland.gov, or chart.state.md.us. Traffic conditions are also available at md511.org, or by safely dialing 511 on your cell phone.