For many people Guinness, green beer and all things Irish are the hallmarks of St. Patrick's Day. For the Maryland State Police, St. Patrick's Day weekend was about keeping drunk drivers off the roads. Between Saturday, March 14 and Monday, March 17, troopers around the state made 120 DUI arrests.
Maryland law requires some individuals convicted of driving under the influence to attend a victim impact panel regarding drunk driving. Those convicted of drunk driving offenses meet with DUI accident victims. An individual ordered to attend such a panel arrived at the location with another individual that allegedly drove him there. The observations of an officer at the forum ended up arresting the attendee for drinking on public property. The man who apparently drove him there was separately arrested for DUI.
Maryland police officers understand better than anyone else the risks of drinking and driving. Nearly everyday they are faced with the aftermath of a driver making the decision to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming either alcohol or drugs. That may be part of why it is surprising to many people when they find out a police officer faces a drunk driving charge.
Many arrests of suspected drunk drivers in Maryland are the result of traffic stops. Others, however, are the result of accidents. On Feb. 22, two officers in separate cars ended up making two drunk driving arrests at the same scene. One was due to an accident that occurred during a traffic stop.