The Maryland State Police recently announced that its troopers will be out in force this weekend as millions of motorists are expected to hit the road for holiday travel and celebrations. All 23 trooper barracks from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland will participate in the increased patrol effort, which is being funded in part by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. The State Police will deploy specially trained troopers who have been taught to identify impaired drivers through the use of tactics such as driving pattern observation and deployment at strategic locations and times. These troopers are part of the SPIDRE team that has been patrolling Maryland highways for over a decade. SPIDRE stands for State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, and it was created by a grant from MDOT with the goal of reducing alcohol related injuries and fatalities in Maryland.
Starting out in Western Maryland, the state police will be conducting high visibility enforcement along Interstate 68, which is a dangerous stretch of highway that runs through Cumberland and Frostburg. The Frederick and Hagerstown state police barracks will focus their patrols on Interstate 70 in Washington County and Frederick County. They will likely be joined by troopers from Howard County on parts of I-70. Howard County troopers will also be patrolling highways 29, 32 and 100, which are heavily trafficked on all nights and weekends. The Golden Ring Barrack will be out in force on the I-695 in Baltimore County. We have handled dozens of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and suspended license cases initiated by troopers from the Golden Ring Barrack. These cases end up in the Essex, Catonsville and Towson District Courts, though we generally prefer to handle our cases in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
Troopers from the D.C. Metro area will also be out and about on Interstate 495, which has become notorious for serious injury accidents and even DUI manslaughter/ homicide by motor vehicle cases. I-495 is narrow, curvy and heavily trafficked, which is a dangerous mix of variables. Interstates 95 and 97 will also be points of emphasis for law enforcement, as will Route 50, which crosses through Anne Arundel County, Queen Anne’s County, Talbot County, Dorchester County, Wicomico County and Worcester County. Southern Maryland jurisdictions including Charles County and St. Mary’s County will also have a heavy patrol presence along Route 301 and Route 5.