HANOVER, MD – Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn yesterday recognized 90 police officers, including six from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, for their exemplary service in removing drunk and drugged drivers from Maryland’s roadways in 2016. Eight of the officers recorded 100 or more Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests each in 2016.
“The men and women of law enforcement demonstrate their commitment to saving lives every day, and we thank them for their dedication,” said Transportation Secretary Rahn, who helped distribute the awards Sunday at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt. “Our goal is zero deaths on our roads.”
In 2015, the last year of complete traffic data, there were 180 impaired driving-related fatalities in Maryland. Between 2011 and 2015, 19,290 persons were either killed or injured in a crash where drugs and/or alcohol were involved.
“These officers demonstrate that if you don’t make a plan for a safe and sober ride, you will be caught, and you will be arrested,” said MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative Christine Nizer.
Throughout the State in 2016, nearly 20,000 people were arrested for DUI-related offenses. An arrest can bring an array of consequences, including jail time; thousands of dollars in fines, lawyer fees, insurance increases, court costs and other expenses; license revocation; lost time at work; and enrollment in Maryland’s robust ignition interlock program.
“Even one drink impacts your ability to drive,” said Rich Leotta, who pushed for the 2016 passage of Noah’s Law after his son, Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, was struck and killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver. “My family is proof that any decision to drive impaired can shatter lives. There’s no excuse.”
Maryland encourages everyone to always plan for a safe and sober ride and even created an app to help do just that. The app is called ENDUI, and it’s free on the iTunes and Google stores. ENDUI was created to educate users about the effects of alcohol and alert them to transportation options.
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MDOT Public Affairs