Extra troopers will be on patrol during the holiday period.
PIkesville, Md (KM) AAA Mid-Atlantic forecasts more than one-million Marylanders will be traveling by car to their Thanksgiving Holiday destinations this week, The Maryland State Police will also be on the roads as well. “We will have all 23 Maryland State Police barracks with troopers on the road focusing their enforcement efforts on looking for impaired drivers; looking for people maybe driving aggressively or speeding; or who are driving distracted,”: says State Police spokeswoman Brenda Carl.
She says it will be targeted enforcement. “Especially along I-95; the 495 area; 695; I-70 heading out to towards western Maryland. There will be a special enforcement unit there, especially looking for aggressive drivers, and drivers who are impaired,” says Carl.
AAA says traffic will be very heavy the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, as motorists begin their drive to their vacation destinations, and will share the roads with drivers who are coming home from work. Carl says its also the time when most people tend to drink too much. “People having off part of that day, and the next day being Thanksgiving, people might take advantage of drinking a little too much at that time,” she says. “We also find a lot of the DWI arrests take place at that time. So that’s where troopers are really going to be looking for impaired drivers, especially on those major thoroughfares.”
State Police are urging travelers not to drive distracted, impaired or aggressively, and make traffic safety their number-one priority. Last Thanksgiving weekend, troopers stopped 7,338 vehicles, issued 4,537 citations to drivers, and arrested 130 people for driving under the influence.
Carl says being charged with driving while impaired can get very expensive. “If you are pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, someone arrested for impaired driving can expect to spend at least $10,000 and that’s just for the legal fees, the fines, the lost wages,” she says. In addition, if the crash results in a serious injury or death, Carl says you can’t put a price on that.
If you’ve had too much to drink, State Police urge you to let someone who is sober get behind the wheel.
By Kevin McManus