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For Immediate Release:

DON’T RELY ON LUCK
THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY
PLAN A SOBER RIDE HOME

Increased Enforcement to Stop Impaired Drivers

March 16, 2017

HANOVER, MD – Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn today urged Marylanders to plan for a sober ride home from their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which every year include a potentially dangerous mix of drinking and driving.
 
“The only option at the end of the night is to have a sober driver,” said Secretary Rahn.  “Plan ahead. Deaths from drunk driving are senseless and can easily be prevented.”
 
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2011-2015, 252 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day.  Each year in Maryland, more than 170 people die because of impaired driving, and more than 20,000 people are injured.  Beyond the potential for hurting or killing others, impaired driving can lead to an arrest.  That could mean severe penalties, including the loss of a license; thousands of dollars in fines and legal costs; lost wages; fees for classes and administrative costs; and having your vehicle fitted with an ignition interlock device.
 
“If you do not think you will be caught, think again,” said Administrator Christine Nizer of the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration.  “Nearly 23,000 people were arrested for impaired driving last year in Maryland, and police across the state are stepping up their efforts to keep our roadways safe.”
 
Enhanced enforcement efforts are being carried out by local state and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police.
 
Motorists should be reminded that “Buzz Driving is Drunk Driving,” said MDTA Police Chief Col. Jerry Jones.
 
Through overhead message signs along major roadways, drivers will be reminded:
 
WEAR SHAMROCKS
NOT HANDCUFFS
DRIVE SOBER
 
Here are some tips to help keep you and everyone else safe on the roads this St. Patrick’s Day weekend:
 
• Have a designated sober driver to get you home safely. Keep phone numbers of friends, cabs, or rideshare services, use public transportation, or make plans to stay overnight.
• If you host a party, keep phone numbers to cab companies and rideshare programs on hand.  Don’t let anyone get behind the wheel if they have been drinking.
• Stay completely sober if you’re the designated driver.  Your friends are relying on you.
• If you see a suspected drunk driver, call 911, and police will be notified.
• Remember to always wear your seat belt, your best protection in any crash.
 
Editor’s Note: Maryland has an app called ENDUI (pronounced “END DUI”), which was developed by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office to prevent impaired driving by helping people plan ahead or find a safe ride home if they have been drinking.  The app is available for free at Google Play for Android phones or at the iTunes Store for iPhones.  For more information on Maryland’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, please visit towardzerodeathsmd.com or find us on Facebook at @towardzerodeathsmd, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.  For the latest MDOT News, follow us on twitter @MDOTNews and #mdotnews.

Contact:
Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025

 

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