Regional Agencies Plan St. Patrick’s Day Enforcement Initiatives
A collaborative law enforcement Border to Border effort is underway as Delmarva police agencies are planning to focus on traffic safety and motor vehicle violations on Route 13 in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The safety campaign lasts through Saint Patrick’s Day Thursday and into the weekend.
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and corresponding state and local agencies in Maryland and Virginia stress that the best prevention step is to ensure that you have a safe and sober ride home if your celebration involves alcohol.
Last year in Delaware between March 16th and March 21st, there were 25 impaired driving-related crashes, ten injuries and one preventable death.
“Impaired drivers are a continuing problem on our roadways, with increased concerns around St. Patrick’s Day,” Delaware Office of Highway Safety Deputy Director Richard Kelpner said. “The most important aspect of celebrating is planning ahead by ensuring a sober ride home. Don’t be the reason someone — including yourself — doesn’t get home. Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day become an anniversary of a tragic night.”
Local police departments along Route 13 and in other communities will also be especially alert for signs of impaired, reckless or aggressive driving. Route 13 stretches for 103 miles in Delaware, 49 miles in Maryland and 137 miles in Virginia.
Maryland State Police also plan to conduct saturation patrols out of each of the 23 barracks to focus on impaired, aggressive and distracted driving, Enforcement will be made possible with funds from the Maryland department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration Highway Safety Office. The initiatives will take place on various days through Sunday, March 20th and will involve partnerships with allied law enforcement and other state agencies.
Maryland State Police also provided these tips:
If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:
- Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
- If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
- Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
- Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
- If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
- Always buckle up.
- Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:
- Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
- Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
- Take away the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.