Police Target Impaired Drivers
This past weekend was a clear reminder for Maryland state troopers that impaired drivers continue to be a threat on state roads, as troopers arrested more than six dozen drivers and dealt with more than one dozen crashes involving impaired drivers, including three in which State Police and State Highway Administration vehicles were struck by drivers believed to be impaired.
From Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 19, Maryland state troopers arrested 77 suspected impaired drivers across the state. This was during regular patrol duties and not part of a statewide increased enforcement effort, police said.
Here’s a police account of some of the incidents:
“At about 11:15 p.m. yesterday, a State Highway Administration CHART truck was stopped on the inner loop of I-695 at I-83 to assist a disabled vehicle and had all of its emergency lights activated. A driver drifted off the roadway and struck the rear of the CHART truck, driving it into the disabled vehicle and causing a fire. The SHA worker was struck by the vehicle he had been assisting, but he refused any medical treatment at the scene. The driver of the striking vehicle was taken to an area hospital for treatment of injuries. Alcohol is believed to be a factor and charges are pending.
“Shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, members of the State Police Impaired Driving Effort, or SPIDRE Team, were working DUI enforcement in Montgomery County. A member of the team had an impaired driver stopped on Piney Branch Road, south of University Blvd., and was making an arrest. The team’s sergeant, who had stopped to assist, was parked not far away, when his vehicle was struck in the rear by an impaired driver. The sergeant and the impaired driver who struck him did not report injuries.”
Other incidents involving impaired drivers across the state include the following:
Baltimore Co. – I-695 near Falls Rd. – April 17 – 12:25 p.m. – A concerned driver called in a suspected impaired driver. A short time later, a trooper found the suspect vehicle had been involved in a single vehicle crash. The driver exhibited signs of impairment and troopers found suspected heroin and pills in the car. The driver was arrested.
Caroline Co. – 14000-block of Greensboro Rd. – April 17 – 8:39 p.m. – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash involving a motorcycle. Investigation indicates the driver had been drinking and was driving at a high speed when he lost control and left the roadway. Driver was transported to the University of MD Shock Trauma Center. Charges are pending.
Washington Co. – April 17 – 7:46 p.m. – A trooper from the Licensing Division had his police car parked in his driveway when a person operating an all-terrain vehicle on the road left the roadway and struck the patrol car. The ATV operator was arrested for DUI.
Montgomery Co. – Inner loop of I-495 at Wisconsin Ave – April 18 – 3:00 a.m. – A citizen called in a possible impaired driver on I-495 coming from Virginia. Before troopers could catch up to the car, the driver ran off the right side of the road and crashed. He did not appear injured and refused medical treatment. The investigation indicated he was driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and he was arrested.
Harford Co. – I-95 near Rt. 24 – April 18 – 12:11 p.m. – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash involving a car that left the roadway and struck a guardrail. The driver was arrested for DUI.
Montgomery Co. – I-270 near Rt. 121 – April 18 – 2:14 p.m. – A driver caused a multi-vehicle crash and then fled the scene. A witness followed the suspect vehicle and called 911. The driver was located and arrested.
Baltimore Co. – I-83 near Warren Road – April 18 – 7:20 p.m. – An off-duty trooper assigned to the Aviation Command was in his patrol car when he monitored a broadcast from the barrack for a possible impaired driver in the area. The trooper pulled to the shoulder and saw the suspected DUI pass. He stopped the driver and found he was impaired. The driver was arrested.
Garrett Co. – 5200-block of Friendsville Rd. – April 18 – 7:36 p.m. – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash involving a car that ran off the roadway and into a ditch before striking a utility pole and tree. The driver was transported to the hospital and is suspected of DUI. Charges are pending.
Kent Co. – Rt. 446 at Pentridge Lane – April 19 – 1:08 a.m. – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash involving a car that failed to negotiate a curve, overturned, and struck several trees. The driver was trapped and had to be extricated, before being flown to the UMD Shock Trauma Center. The driver was believed to be impaired. Charges are pending.
Charles Co. – Rt. 381 – Hughesville – April 19 – 6:58 a.m. – A pickup driver apparently fell asleep and lost control before leaving the roadway and striking several trees. He was found to be impaired and was arrested.
Anne Arundel Co. – I-295 near I-895 – April 19 – 5:33 p.m. – Troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash. The at-fault driver was found to be impaired and was arrested.
Frederick Co. – Old National Pike and Edgemont Road – April 19 – 6:00 p.m. – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash in which a driver was attempting to pass another car when he lost control. The car crashed through a guardrail before traveling down an embankment and overturning. The driver, believed to be impaired, was transported to the hospital. Charges are pending.