Alcohol Related Accident Prevention Through Enforcement and Awareness in Maryland

Car Accident Injuries And Compensation near Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day as there are generally an increased number of impaired drivers on the roads at those times.
Checkpoints are a commonly used tool used by law enforcement to identify motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol on Maryland roadways. DUI checkpoints are typically set up on roads that are statistically most likely to carry impaired drivers, have a high rate of alcohol related accidents or where there is a high volume of pedestrian traffic. DUI checkpoints involve the use of police officers who are trained in alcohol detection. A traffic pattern is established on the roadway to funnel vehicles into a line where a police officer makes verbal contact with each driver. Typically, police officers inform drivers of the purpose of the checkpoint and hand out literature related to alcohol related driving information. The brief contact with each vehicle operator allows the police officer to identify clues that may indicate the presence of alcohol. Some of the clues that may raise the suspicion of the police officer are the odor of alcohol coming from the driver, glassy or bloodshot eyes or slurred speech. If the presence of alcohol is detected on the driver, additional tests may be performed to determine the level of impairment, which may lead to an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Saturation patrols are another common technique used by Maryland law enforcement agencies to locate drivers who are impaired by alcohol. These patrols are often funded by grants from the Federal Government and serve the sole purpose of attempting to identify impaired drivers and charge them appropriately. These patrols involve police officers who have been trained in alcohol detection techniques and employ their training as they seek out drivers who operate their vehicles in a manner that is indicative of alcohol impairment. Some signs that police officers look for are vehicles that weave within a traffic lane, fail to obey traffic control devices and travel at excessive speeds. Once violators are located, a traffic stop is executed and an investigation into alcohol impairment is initiated.
Awareness
Alcohol related traffic accident prevention through enforcement is only one strategy employed to reduce the number of such collisions. Raising awareness through education is another technique used in Maryland.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (NHTSA) offers an Alcohol Education Program (AEP) to those who have been referred by a judge or have experienced a driver’s license Pip And Insurance suspension or revocation due to an alcohol related offense. Additionally, the MVA offers a list of Alcohol and Drug Education providers to all Maryland drivers.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offers public awareness programs statewide that include presentations, distribution of educational literature and public outreach. Also, MADD’s victim impact panel is offered to those who have been charged with an alcohol related traffic offense or involved in an alcohol related crash.
While alcohol related accident prevention and awareness efforts in the state of Maryland are consistent and aggressive, it is unclear to what extent these efforts have impacted the incidence of such collisions. An examination of statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that alcohol related fatalities have reduced dramatically in the past twenty-five years. This noticeable reduction is likely the effect of enhanced DUI legislation, greater enforcement efforts and awareness and educational initiatives.

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