FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA External Affairs|
MARYLAND HONORS VICTIMS OF IMPAIRED DRIVING CRASHES AND LAUNCHES NEW SMART PHONE APP TO HELP
END DUI IN MARYLAND
11th Annual Maryland Remembers Memorial Addresses
Deadly Issue of Drunk and Drugged Driving
New ENDUI Smartphone App Designed to Help People Plan Ahead & Get Home Safely
ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 28, 2014) - Rory Joseph Weichbrod was a 26-year-old man whose life tragically ended on October 10, 2010, when he was struck by a car driven by a drunk driver as he was crossing a suburban Maryland street. Rory became yet another name added to the list of innocent victims whose lives are taken every year by drunk drivers. Luke Weichbrod, Rory’s brother, shared the story of his loss at Maryland Remembers, an annual memorial service to remember those tragically killed in Maryland as a result of an impaired driver.
Honoring lives lost and detailing the State’s ongoing efforts put an end to this senseless crime, Deputy Transportation Secretary Wilson H. Parran today joined Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Mothers Against Drunk Driving National President Jan Withers, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor O’Malley’s Highway Safety Representative Milton Chaffee, safety advocates and the families and friends of drunk / drugged driving crash victims at the 11th Annual Maryland Remembers memorial service. The annual ceremony, held in the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, serves to raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving that increases during the holiday season.
“Last year in Maryland, 152 people were tragically killed in impaired driving-related crashes, accounting for about a third of all traffic fatalities in 2013,” said Deputy Secretary Parran. “Sadly, every single one of these deaths was preventable. That is why it is important that we gather to each year at this event to remember lives lost and urge others never to drink and drive.”
The holiday season, running from December through New Year’s Day, marks one of the most dangerous periods with regard to impaired driving-related deaths. Maryland law enforcement officers will be deployed in full force throughout the holidays to find and arrest impaired drivers. Last year, more than 23,000 arrests were made for DUI offenses throughout the State.
“Our mission as law enforcement is simple – to get impaired drivers off our roads before they injure or kill innocent motorists,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Woodrow Jones, Bureau Chief of Field Operations for the Maryland State Police. “Impaired driving is a major issue and one that all law enforcement agencies take very seriously. If you drink and drive, you will be arrested.”
The event also coincided with the official launch of an innovative smartphone app that is intended to prevent impaired driving by helping people plan ahead or find a safe ride home if they have been drinking. The ENDUI (pronounced End-DUI) App, now available at Google Play for Android phones or at the iTunes Store for iPhones, was developed by the Maryland Highway Safety Office to combat impaired driving and safe lives.
The ENDUI App features include:
- creating a “designated driver list” of family members and friends who can be contacted quickly in the event that someone has had too much to drink;
- instantly locating the nearest taxi service or public transportation options;
- a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) estimator, where the number and type of drinks a person has consumed is entered into the app and an estimate BAC level is provided;
- two skills tests designed to measure a person’s reaction time and response functions, characteristics that diminish with impairment;
- the ability to report an impaired driver by contacting 911 with the push of a button; and
- DUI facts and educational videos.
"More than 23,000 people were arrested last year in Maryland for drunk or drugged driving," stated Jan Withers, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "My daughter, Alisa, was killed by a drunk driver and, as someone who has had their life forever altered, I can tell you that a little time spent planning before you go out can go a long way toward saving a life at the end of the night. Always have a safe ride with someone who has not been drinking."
The monetary penalties for an impaired driving arrest are often severe, typically running thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, lawyer fees, lost wages and other costs. Even more important, drunk or drugged drivers run the risk of hurting or killing themselves, others, friends or loved ones.
“The ENDUI App is another tool in our toolbox to move Maryland Toward Zero Deaths on our roadways,” said MVA Administrator Chaffee. “I encourage the public to download the app at Google Play or the iTunes Store and join us in our fight to end DUI in Maryland.”
The ENDUI App is part of a comprehensive strategy to save lives by preventing impaired driving through education, enforcement and engineering efforts. Other educational campaigns include Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Checkpoint Strikeforce, which are major components of Maryland's Toward Zero Deaths campaign. This campaign focuses on preventing impaired driving, aggressive driving and distracted driving, while also promoting seat belt use and pedestrian safety. For more information on the Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit www.towardzerodeathsmd.com. For more information about Maryland Remembers, please visit www.MarylandRemembers.com.