Maryland Governor Aims to Curb Drunk Driving Traffic Accidents and Deaths

Maryland traffic accident deaths have been on the decline in recent years — down to a five-year low of 591 fatalities in 2008, as compared to 643 deaths in 2004. Deaths due to drunk-driving are also down — 152 deaths in 2008 compared to 211 deaths in 2004. (Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Maryland 2004-2008.) That’s encouraging news for those of us who get in our cars, trucks, or SUVs every day and venture out on Maryland’s streets and highways. But it’s little consolation if you’re among the people who lost their lives — or the grieving families and friends they left behind.

In an effort to keep the numbers of Maryland drunk driving car accidents and fatalities going down, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has ordered a task force to organize and create a new state driving safety initiative. The Maryland Alcohol Safety Action Program (MASAP) hopes to reduce the number of repeat drunk-driving offenders by tracking those dangerous problem drivers “from the point of arrest, through adjudication, completion of treatment and beyond.”

Baltimore, Maryland wrongful death lawyers know the carnage that can result when alcohol-impaired drivers get behind the wheel. Sometimes it seems the only thing that stops chronic repeat drunk-driving offenders is when their recklessness finally takes a life and they’re convicted of vehicular homicide. We’ve all heard those sad, maddening news stories about some innocent person who lost their life because a repeat drunk-driving offender took to the road again under the influence — despite multiple DUI citations.

The creation of Governor O’Malley’s new program to follow repeat DUI offenders was recommended by the Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol, which worked to strengthen Maryland’s DUI laws and programs in 2007-2008. His executive order follows a memorial ceremony held this past December, to remember the victims whose lives were senselessly cut short on Maryland’s roadways due to alcohol related traffic accidents.

Maryland Forms New Alcohol Safety Action Program
Governors Highway Safety Association newsletter Directions in Highway Safety, Winter 2010, Vol. 12, No. 3
MARYLAND REMEMBERS DUI VICTIMS AND FIGHTS BACK
Maryland Department of Transportation press release, Dec. 9, 2009
Related Web Resources

TASK FORCE TO COMBAT DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS & ALCOHOL
Maryland State Archives, Dec. 16, 2009
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)