The Fourth of July is the quintessential American holiday: grilling, pool parties, family and friends, and fireworks. Unfortunately, it also means a rise in alcohol consumption which is especially dangerous around grills, pools, fireworks… and cars.
Driving under the influence has been a prime public safety concern for the past few decades for good reason, with a person being injured in a drunk driving accident about every two minutes. The risks become even higher during a holiday, when there is a high combination of alcohol consumption and travel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that 40% of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk driving just over the Fourth of July weekend.
Over the 2018 Fourth of July holiday weekend, drunk driving was cracked down on throughout Maryland’s Lower Shore. Law enforcement officers from the Berlin Barrack, County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ocean City Police Department joined forces and made 144 traffic stops along three key routes known for drunk driving between 10 p.m. Saturday night to 3 a.m. Sunday morning. The results? A total of 85 citations, 118 warnings, two DWI arrests, and 10 DUI arrests.
The twelve arrested better be prepared with experienced defense lawyers, since Worcester County is celebrating yet another year of having the highest DUI conviction rate state-wide. While the state average is 78%, Worcester County far surpassed that at a 91.1% successful conviction rate.
They were honored on June 18 at the annual Maryland State’s Attorney’s Conference in Ocean City. The Worcester County State’s Attorneys Office has been honored with the award for five of the last six years.
Interim State’s Attorney Bill McDermott credits their success to “devoted” attorneys and officers in a press release.
“Our officers tirelessly patrol the streets of this county and are thorough in their reports, which in turn provide our prosecutors with the tools they need to successfully convict drunk drivers,” he said.
A common defense on a DUI charge is improper reporting or misconduct on the part of the law enforcement officer during an arrest. If officers are conscious of being more accurate and thorough on arrest reports, a conviction is more likely.
This is “a win for Worcester County,” concludes McDermott.