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Drunk driving continues to plague Maryland

It would seem impossible that anyone in Maryland could say they have never heard about how dangerous it is to drive a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. Drunk driving has received so much press and public attention over the last several decades. Sadly, this press and attention may not seem to be sufficient as enough drivers continue to make the reckless choice to get behind the wheel when they are drunk. As a result, too many innocent people are injured or killed every year.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over the five years spanning from 2012 through 2016, drunk drivers were responsible for more than 29 percent of all vehicular fatalities statewide. In Prince George’s County the situation is even worse as drunk drivers were responsible for 35 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accident during those five years.

Overall, 720 people in Maryland were killed in drunk driving accidents from 2012 through 2016 and 156 of those deaths occurred in Prince George’s County. In 2016 alone, 130 lives were lost in Maryland at the hands of drunk drivers, 21 in Prince George’s County.

Drunk driving laws are said to be tough but, clearly, they are not tough enough if these deaths keep happening. One of the newest laws according to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration has been in effect less than two years. Known as Noah’s Law, this legislation mandates the use of ignition interlock devices for people convicted of driving under the influence offenses. This joins other penalties which include fines, potential jail time and the loss of driving privileges.