State police to highlight impaired driving efforts

JESSUP, Md. (AP) — Maryland state police are marking the one-year anniversary of a patrol team that focuses on impaired driving.

State police leaders and other officials will hold a news conference on Wednesday to detail the team’s accomplishments. They’ll also talk about the team’s efforts to combat drunken driving over the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

The patrol team was formed in an effort to reduce fatalities and injuries from crashes in which a driver was impaired by alcohol or other substances. More than 850 people died and 20,000 more were injured in such crashes in Maryland between 2009 and 2013. Last year, impairment was a factor in 33 percent of all fatal crashes.

The team is known as SPIDRE, which stands for State Police Impaired Driving Effort.

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