A new Intoximeter instrument was installed at the Caroline County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) on October 28th. This came after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Maryland State Police and the Sheriff's Office in which the Sheriff's Office becomes a part of the State of Maryland Alcohol Testing Program. As such, the CCSO will conduct breath tests of drivers suspected of operating motor vehicles while impaired by alcohol.
"This is a huge step forward for Caroline County law enforcement" Sheriff Bounds commented. While the Maryland State Police has been supportive in providing breath tests for Caroline law enforcement in the past, officers were often required to drive to the Maryland State Police Barracks in Easton to have the tests performed. Sheriff Bounds stated "having a breath testing device and operators central to Caroline will have a significant impact on the turn-around time of getting officers back on the street."
The Caroline County Sheriff's Office has invested 120 hours of training to have three supervisors certified in the operation of the Intoximeter. More personnel are slated to train in the coming months.
In 2012, the Sheriff's Office alone arrested 34 individuals for driving while impaired. That number has already been surpassed in 2013 with deputies charging 36 drivers with driving while impaired by the end of October.
Additionally in 2012, 173 people lost their lives in an impaired driving crash in Maryland. Between 2008 and 2012, 875 people lost their lives in Maryland as a result of impaired driver related crashes. Of those 75% occurred at night.
Sheriff Bounds commented, "We are grateful to the Maryland State Police for providing us with this valuable piece of equipment and the training to use it. It will greatly enhance our ability to remove impaired drivers from Caroline County roadways."