GLEN BURNIE, MD (June 9, 2017) – Today, 28 officers from 19 law enforcement agencies across Maryland graduated from a rigorous 40-hour program designed to develop leaders in the enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws. The program, known as the DUI Institute, was developed jointly by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Highway Safety Office (MHSO), the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Behavioral and Community Health, police officers, and national experts.
“Between 2011 and 2015, more than 19,000 persons were killed or injured in Maryland in a crash where alcohol and/or drugs were involved,” said MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative Christine Nizer. “Our police officers are on the front lines, protecting us from impaired drivers. We commend our DUI Institute graduates for their efforts to help us reach zero roadway deaths.”
From June 4 to 9, DUI Institute participants – including Maryland State Police troopers, Maryland Transportation Authority Police officers, and several local police officers and sheriff’s deputies – learned the latest information on the effectiveness of impaired driving countermeasures, including ignition interlocks, DUI courts, and sobriety checkpoints; police traffic management; the physiology of alcohol and its abuse/addiction; and court room testimony. In addition, officers received advanced training in conducting Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and had the chance to practice these techniques with drinking volunteers who were dosed to various blood alcohol levels.
“The DUI Institute provides officers a unique opportunity to improve their skills in report writing and providing court room testimony, including a mock court where they present evidence in front of judges and attorneys,” said Dr. Kenneth Beck, who facilitates the training for the UMD Institute of Advanced Law Enforcement Studies. “Officers who have attended this training report that it has increased their effectiveness in making more impaired driving arrests that lead to a conviction.”
The DUI Institute is sponsored by the MHSO, University of Maryland School of Public Health, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 300 officers have graduated from the program in the past 13 years.
Editor’s Note: For more information on Maryland’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, please visit towardzerodeathsmd.com or find us on Facebook at @towardzerodeathsmd, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md. For the latest MDOT News, follow us on twitter @MDOTNews and #mdotnews.