xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland had more drunk drivers in 2011 than 2010

While the holidays seasons are often filled with joy and giving, they are also filled with parties. The uptick in holiday parties tends to lead to more drunk drivers on the road, said the Sykesville Police Chief John Williams.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more Maryland residents suffered from drunk driving fatalities in 2011 compared to 2010. In Maryland, 33 percent, or 162 driving fatalities are due to drunk driving for the most recent data in 2011. In 2010, that number was at 31 percent, on par with the national average.

"It's almost a three-prong event, because you have the holiday season, and the parties, and then you have New Year's coming up, then you have football - be it college or pro, the season is winding down," Williams said.

On a typical weekend, the Sykesville Police Department will charge one person with drunk driving, Williams said. This past weekend, they had three, Williams said.

"If you have to party, make sure you have a plan, a designated driver, some place to stay or access to a ride. It's critical," Williams said.

Another concern is the overall driving related fatalities for 2012, Williams said.

According to data from the Maryland State Police, Carroll County has had 16 driving-related fatalities this year, which is disproportionately high compared to the population, Williams said.

According to 2010 Census data, Carroll had 167,134 residents.

Some comparable counties, like Charles and Washington counties both have populations around the 140,000 range. While Charles County is lower, with 13 driving related fatalities, Washington County is at 22 driving related fatalities for the year.

"It's a genuine concern," Williams said. "Our enforcement efforts, [like the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police], will also be ramped up."

Williams said to be aware of how much alcohol someone is consuming, and always have a designated driver.

December is also "Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month," and Carroll law enforcement will be conducting numerous saturation patrols to identify and remove aggressive and impaired drivers from roadways through New Year's Day, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement