Reducing car accidents throughout Maryland is the explicit goal of Checkpoint Strikeforce, a DWI/DUI enforcement campaign officially launched on August 24 by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, safety advocates and law enforcement officials. The program is a six-month initiative that combines dissemination of safe-driving information to the public with increased use of saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints aimed at identifying and prosecuting drunk drivers.
The program, which is coordinated through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, especially targets geographical areas within and in close proximity to Maryland where statistics indicate an increased risk of impaired driving and crash fatalities. These include the Central Maryland/Baltimore area, the state’s Eastern Shore and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
A central component of Checkpoint Strikeforce is its highlighted emphasis on safe alternatives to drunk driving. “Buses, Metro subway and Light Rail can provide safe passage home, as well as simply picking up the phone and calling a taxi cab,” says Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley. “The options are there. We urge people to plan ahead and use them.”
In 2009, Maryland drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs were involved in nearly 30 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents. This high number is what drives the “zero tolerance” response from law enforcement officials, says Lt. Col. Michael Andrew of the Baltimore City Police Department. Andrew notes simply that, “If you drive drunk, you will be arrested.”
Related Resource: www.prnewswire.com “Lt. Governor Brown, Ravens’ Ray Rice Kick off ‘Checkpoint Strikeforce’ Campaign” August 24, 2010