March 13, 2024

Roads to Have Increased Enforcement to Prevent Problems Caused by Impaired Drivers Around St. Patrick’s Day Weekend March 15-17; Safe Ride Alternatives Available

Montgomery County roads will have increased traffic enforcement in a combined effort of numerous police agencies on Friday-Sunday, March 15-17, to prevent problems caused by impaired drivers around St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. In addition, the County Department of Transportation is recommending ride options for those who will be drinking to help keep the roads safer.

Many police agencies in the County will participate in the initiative including Montgomery County Police, Maryland State Police, police of the Maryland Transportation Authority, the County’s Sheriff’s Department, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission police.

St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17, and the days leading up to it will see an enforcement program that supports the County’s year-round Vision Zero Initiative to reduce traffic collisions that lead to serious injuries and deaths. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that nearly half of all traffic deaths on St. Patrick’s Day involve drunk drivers.

“Making our roads safer is a priority of our County on a daily basis—whether that means better road designs, educating people on the dangers of drinking and driving or stricter traffic enforcement,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “History shows us that certain times—such as the period around St. Patrick’s Day—lead to more people driving impaired. I am hopeful that this initiative will help keep our roads safer for all drivers.”

The additional officers involved in the enforcement effort are partially funded by grants from the Maryland Highway Safety Office.

In addition to the full County Alcohol Initiatives Unit, the special funding will provide overtime that will lead to additional officers working during the extra enforcement period.

“If you plan to drink, do not drive,” said County Police Chief Marcus Jones. “Our officers will be conducting saturation patrols throughout the County and arresting intoxicated drivers. The tragedy that occurs when people get behind the wheel intoxicated is 100 percent preventable.”

During the initiative, officers will be patrolling and enforcing all traffic laws, with a focus on impaired drivers.

“The Vision Zero Initiative works across many departments throughout the year to identify ways we can make Montgomery County roads safer,” said Vision Zero Coordinator Wade Holland. “We know that more patrolling officers can make a great contribution to that. We appreciate the grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office that is supporting local programs like this one and the work Montgomery County Police do throughout the year to get impaired drivers off the road.”

A good plan for an evening out will help keep roads safer.

“There are ample ride services that will get you home safety,” said County Department of Transportation Director Chris Conklin. “If you are choosing to celebrate with alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, plan out your ride home ahead of time to keep our shared roadways safe for everyone.”

Residents are encouraged to use of one the following transportation options:
  • SoberRide: The free ride home program is offered through the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) in partnership with Lyft. Promotional codes for Lyft will be posted online at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 17, on The codes are valid for up to $15 off one ride home taken in Lyft’s Washington, D.C., coverage area from noon on Sunday, March 17, until midnight on Monday, March 18. The number of codes is limited, and participants must be 21 or older.
  • Use MCDOT’s Ride On bus: With fare of $1 on all County buses, there are currently 80 routes throughout the County that operate daily. Download the free, regional public transit app, Ride On Trip Planner, to plan your next trip.