Sobriety checkpoints and patrols increase for St. Patrick's Day weekend

Posted at 12:53 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 12:53:25-04

In anticipation of potential increased imbibing during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, state law enforcement agencies are stepping up road patrols to combat driving under the influence.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police will conduct checkpoints Friday, March 15 at the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the agency said. Additional police will also be deployed throughout the weekend to deter impaired driving.

Maryland State Police are also urging drivers to make sensible plans involving sober drivers this weekend as they increase patrols to deter impaired, aggressive, or distracted driving. The force will use saturation patrols in areas known to have a high number of driving under the influence (DUI) crashes or arrests, as well as sobriety check points, and a visible presence on area roads.

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend, state police made 105 DUI arrests, 32 criminal arrests, 15 drug-related arrests, 1,141 speeding citations, 90 seat belt citations, and 2,700 other citations, the department said.

During the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day weekend, 59 people were killed in crashes in which at least one motor vehicle operator had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, exceeding the legal limit in Maryland, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.