NORTH EAST — If you’re planning to party on Saturday night, please make sure you’ve got a designated driver or other plan to stay safe and off the roads.

Troopers from the Maryland State Police North East Barrack in conjunction with the State Highway Administration said Thursday they will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday night, September 7th in Cecil County.

Troopers will also be conducting Impaired Driving saturation patrols throughout the weekend, officials said.

“The deterrent effect of both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has been a proven resource in reducing the number of people killed and injured in alcohol or drug related crashes,” Maryland State Police said in a Sept. 4 statement. “Crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when publicized DUI checkpoints like this one and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely. DUI checkpoints like this are placed in locations based on collision statistics and the frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence.”

The state of Maryland is actively working with law enforcement and transportation officials in its “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign. The initiative supports measures that result in decrease in alcohol related fatalities on Maryland roads.

Cracking down on impaired driving has been a funding priority in recent years, officials for the initiative said.

“Maryland drunk driving laws have become more strict in recent years thanks to the passage of Noah’s Law,” the organization states on its website. “Also known as the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, this law increased penalties and extended suspensions for impaired driving. Thanks to this and other initiatives, we expect to see continued reduction in impaired driving. With an average of 2.59 deaths per 100,000, Maryland currently ranks 8th lowest for number of impaired driving deaths per capita. While that’s something to be proud of, we must continue in our goal of moving the state Toward Zero Deaths.”

The 2018 Maryland Highway Safety Plan reported that impaired driving caused one in three fatal crashes and 10 percent of overall crashes.

More than half of these happen between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. And 58 percent of fatal crashes occur between these hours.

Make sober driving a priority and you’ll never have to worry about a DUI checkpoint. Have a safe weekend, Cecil County!

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