MSP: Expect More DUI Patrols This Weekend - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

MSP: Expect More DUI Patrols This Weekend

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PIKESVILLE, Md.- Maryland State Police say troopers will be deployed in every county for St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown ordered the deployment of additional DUI enforcement efforts in every county starting Friday, according to police. The additional efforts are in response to an increase in drinking and driving that occurs St. Patrick's Day weekend.

"Unfortunately, St. Patrick's Day celebrations increase the number of drunk drivers on our roads and the risk of highway tragedies resulting from drunken driving crashes," Brown said. "We want everyone to enjoy the celebrations, but act responsibly. Be certain you make plans ahead of time to arrange for a sober driver to transport you, whether that is a friend, cab driver, or transit driver. Stick to those plans. If you do not, a very sober state trooper or local police officer will quite possibly be driving you from the scene of your arrest."  

As for the penalties of drunk driving, in Maryland a first offense could result in a fine up to $1,000, a sentence of up to one year in jail, 12 points on a driver's license, and a license revocation for six months.

People who refuse to take a blood alcohol test or get a test result of .08 or higher will have their license confiscated, according to police.

In the past, DUI arrests by state troopers have doubled on St. Patrick's Day weekends compared to a normal day.

According to Lt. Colonel Jerry Jones, chief of the MSP field operations bureau, most enforcement will occur this weekend through special patrols of troopers working areas known to have high numbers of DUI arrests or crashes, also known as saturation patrols. Troopers will also be staffing four sobriety checkpoints. 

 "Each of our 22 barrack commanders is deploying special patrols focused entirely on identifying and arresting drunk drivers," Colonel Jones said. "Our goal is to find a drunk driver before he or she causes a crash that ends in tragedy." 

The State Police Impaired Driving Effort team will also be on patrol. State police said this team consists of the best drunk driving enforcement troopers in the state police.

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