Stevensville, MD - The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) joined law enforcement officials from across the Eastern Shore today to challenge motorists to “Be Legendary” by being a sober driver. The new educational campaign is part of the Checkpoint Strikeforce regional effort that continues through Labor Day to prevent impaired driving. Maryland will kick off the effort with “Bay to Beach” high visibility enforcement from the Bay Bridge to Ocean City to get drunk and drugged drivers off the US 50 corridor.
“We want Maryland drivers to ‘Be Legendary’ by making a commitment to safe driving habits, every time they get behind the wheel,” said Christine Nizer, Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative and MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator. “All drivers are encouraged to take our Safe Driver Pledge as a promise to keep themselves and others safe.”
"As the summer season ends, I have one message for those traveling on Maryland roadways: if you drink and drive, you will be arrested,” said Maryland Transportation Authority Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones.
Between 2013 and 2017 in Maryland, nearly 800 people were killed and more than 16,400 were injured in a crash where drugs and/or alcohol were involved. Approximately one-third of Maryland’s roadway deaths each year involve impaired driving.
“The death of my brother, Brian, had the singular largest impact on my life. It affected my family, my friendships, my character, and even the way I parent in such a profound way that I think about his loss daily,” said Jason Shand, a Queen Anne’s County resident who spoke about his brother’s fatal decision to drive drunk.
In Maryland, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police and Maryland State Police (MSP) will join forces with Sheriff’s offices from Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. The Easton, Cambridge, Salisbury, Berlin, and Ocean City Police Departments will also participate in the high visibility enforcement effort. There will be saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints statewide during the enforcement wave. “Bay to Beach” checkpoints will be conducted in Berlin, MD (MSP) and Easton, MD (Easton Police Department) on Friday, Aug. 17 (MSP); Easton, MD (Easton Police Department) on Friday, Aug. 24; and Salisbury, MD (MSP) on Friday, Aug. 31.
“This joint effort is an outstanding example of our local communities and law enforcement coming together to make sure everyone is safe getting to and departing from their vacations,” said Sheriff Joe Gamble of the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office.
“US 50 traffic grows considerably between Memorial Day and Labor Day,” said Chief David Spencer of the Easton Police Department. “Keeping residents and vacation goers safe by getting impaired drivers off the road is our number one priority during Checkpoint Strikeforce.”
In Delaware in 2017, there were 112 fatal crashes with 51 DUI-related fatal crashes and 3,997 DUI-related arrests.
“Enjoy your time at Dewey Beach but remember to drink responsibly and plan ahead,” said Chief Sam Mackert of the Dewey Beach Police Department. “We want to keep our visitors and residents safe on our roadways. We will be looking for impaired drivers all hours of the day and night”.
In Delaware, the Delaware State Police and the Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Lewes, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Selbyville, and South Bethany police departments will participate in the high visibility enforcement effort throughout the weekend.
Learn more about the MDOT Highway Safety Office’s “Be Legendary” campaign at belegendarymd.com.