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Maryland Police Prepare For A Weekend Of Drunk Drivers

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Two recent high-profile drunk-driving incidents and the forthcoming holiday weekend have Maryland police watching roads especially closely.
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Two recent high-profile drunk-driving incidents and the forthcoming holiday weekend have Maryland police watching roads especially closely.

Police in Maryland are gearing up for a busy holiday weekend of getting drunk drivers off the road. Two high-profile incidents in the past week have only made officers focus their efforts even more.

A Montgomery County policeman was grazed by a car operated by a drunk driver while directing traffic around an accident on the Beltway yesterday, and last week, another crash involving a drunk driver occurred in Anne Arundel County.

"Two bicyclists out enjoying a weekend in Anne Arundel County, on a bike path of all places, were struck by a motorist who registered a .15 blood alcohol content level at 2 o'clock in the afternoon," says Kevin Davis, Anne Arundel police chief.

The upcoming holiday weekend will see more instances of drunk driving, and state police will continue to deploy a program they say has been successful in getting more than 1,000 drunk drivers off the road in the past year. Local departments have picked up on it, too, says Prince George's County assistant police chief Hank Stawinski. By analyzing data, officers are stationed in specific areas that have historically seen the most drunk driving incidents.

"I encourage people to not 'play the odds' and assume police can't be everywhere," Stawinski says. "We're not trying to be everywhere, but we're going to be where the problems are."

The Montgomery County officer who was struck Tuesday on the Beltway has already been released from the hospital. The driver faces a DUI charge after police say his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.

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