FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA External Affairs|
MAKE A PLAN TO GET HOME SAFELY THIS SUPER BOWL – DRIVE SOBER OR HAND OFF THE KEYS TO A DESIGNATED DRIVER
Police out on extra patrols to remove impaired drivers from Maryland’s roads.
GLEN BURNIE, MD (January 29, 2015) - For Super Bowl Sunday, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) reminds motorists to plan ahead. Designate someone who has not been drinking to drive those who have. More than 23,000 people were arrested last year because they got behind the wheel after they had been drinking.
“Drunk driving is completely avoidable,” said Milt Chaffee, MVA Administrator and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “In Maryland, drunk or drugged driving crashes claimed the lives of more than 850 people over the past five years.”
Maryland crash data shows that impaired driving is estimated to have played a role in at least 33 percent of fatal crashes in 2013, with 152 people losing their lives to impaired drivers. More than 3,400 additional people were injured in impaired driving crashes that year.
“Make a plan before you go out and stick to that plan,” added Chaffee. “Late last year we made it easier for motorists to do just that with the use of a new smartphone app.”
The ENDUI (pronounced End-DUI) app, available for free at Google Play for Android phones or at the iTunes Store for iPhones, was developed by the MVA’s Maryland Highway Safety Office using federal funding dedicated solely to impaired driving prevention. To date, the app has been downloaded more than 40,000 times and features include:
- the ability to create 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;
- the ability to locate the nearest taxi service or public transportation;
- a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) estimator when the number and type of drinks a person has consumed is entered into the app;
- 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.
The penalties for an impaired driving arrest can run into thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, lawyer fees and lost wages. More importantly, drunk or drugged drivers run the risk of hurting or killing themselves or others, including friends and loved ones.
“Impairment happens at the first drink and folks can then find themselves responsible for a needless tragedy or in the back of a police car,” stated Chaffee. “Always wear a seat belt and make sure everyone in the vehicle is belted. A properly worn seat belt is the best defense against injury in any crash.”
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Note: Maryland's Toward Zero Deaths 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 or for additional resources, please visit www.towardzerodeathsmd.com.