FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Elena Russo||Office of Media Communications|
SPIDRE DUI TEAM HIGHLIGHTS FIRST YEAR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF IMPAIRED DRIVING PROGRAM AS BUSY JULY 4TH HOLIDAY WEEKEND APPROACHES
Transportation, Enforcement and Safety Advocates Urge Drivers Not to Drink & Drive
JESSUP, MD (July 2, 2014) - Today, Maryland State Police Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Jones joined Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson, Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis, Prince George’s County Deputy Police Chief Hank Stawinski, Deputy Transportation Secretary Wilson H. Parran, Mothers Against Drunk Driving advocate Donna Hathaway Beck and other state officials and partner law enforcement agencies to highlight the accomplishments of the SPIDRE (State Police Impaired Driving Effort), an elite team of state troopers focused on reducing the number of alcohol related crashes in Maryland.
Since the targeted enforcement program was launched last May, SPIDRE teams have made 6,384 traffic stops resulting in 1,052 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests and 211 criminal arrests. Funded by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office, SPIDRE focuses on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.
“In the last five years, 856 people were tragically killed in impaired driving-related crashes,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Wilson H. Parran. “Sadly, every single one of these deaths was preventable. That is why we are committed to targeting impaired drivers through Operation SPIDRE -- a program that complements the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s extensive efforts to improve highway safety and help Maryland achieve the goal of zero deaths on our roadways.”
“Impaired driving is a major issue and one that all law enforcement agencies take very seriously,” said Lieutenant Jerry Jones, Commander of the Field Operations Bureau for the Maryland State Police. “This team of highly trained state troopers and their law enforcement partners have saved countless lives since inception. Together, they will continue to operate in full force over the July Fourth holiday weekend in an effort to keep Marylanders and those traveling through our state safe”.
Last year in Maryland, 152 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, accounting for 33% of all traffic fatalities in 2013. Using data to identify high risk areas, the elite team of seven specially trained Maryland State troopers and their partners continue to make arrests in these concentrated areas to further reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving. Maryland State Troopers will continue to collaborate with law enforcement partners in an effort to reduce the number of alcohol related crashes in Maryland.
"The hurt and the anger at losing a loved one to an impaired driver never truly goes away," said Donna Hathaway Beck, a victim impact speaker for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "These crimes do not have to happen and I urge everyone to always drive sober or to have a sober driver."
The SPIDRE team is dedicated to reaching the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s goal of zero deaths on Maryland roadways. This team of highly trained state troopers will be conducting impaired driving enforcement initiatives across a “web” that spans jurisdictions through the Baltimore and Washington metro areas, and throughout the state, for years to come. To keep Maryland residents and visitors safe, the SPIDRE team will be out in full force over the July Fourth holiday weekend. The establishment of a specialized DUI enforcement team has been implemented in other jurisdictions with significant decreases in impaired driving crashes.
Maryland drivers will see a stream of reminders about the SPIDRE patrols, as part of this effort. Advertisements on billboards, transit shelters and targeted gas pumps, as well as radio and digital components will be visible statewide. Maryland State Police urge everyone to avoid the SPIDRE’s web and consider alternatives to drinking and driving, prior to consuming alcoholic beverages.