Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Every 57 hours, someone in Maryland is killed by a drunk driver. A sobering statistic that has local and state police hitting the streets to crack down on the dangerous driving.
Christie Ileto explains.
“Nine years ago, early this morning, a drunk driver killed my 13-year-old daughter,” said Debbie Hardy.
Oct. 26, 2003 is still fresh on Debbie Hardy’s mind. She knows all to well what it means to lose a loved one to a drunk driver.
“It can happen to anyone,” she said.
But to make sure it doesn’t, Baltimore County officers and Maryland State Police are targeting drunk drivers starting Friday. It’s called Operation SOLO or Saving Our Loved Ones.
“Our purpose is to get the impaired drivers off the road,” said Officer James French with the Baltimore County Police Department said.
Some of the things police say they’re going to be looking for: People who forget to turn on their head lights, those who are swerving in and out of lanes, or even rolling through stop signs or stop lights.
“A lot of times, they’ll commit various traffic violations because the problem is, they have trouble dividing their attention between driving and making judgement calls,” French said.
Studies show nationally, most drunk driving-related accidents happen at night. In fact officials say, 55 percent of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes happen between midnight to 3 a.m. and 42 percent between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
And while troopers are out nabbing drunk drivers, Hardy says she’s sending her own message:
“That a drunk driver killed my daughter,” she said.
With a mobile message on the trunk of her car, she hopes will help people think twice before getting behind the wheel, drunk.
Law enforcement will be out on Bel Air Road Friday evening and officers will be on York Road in Baltimore County Saturday evening. Operation SOLO will last through December.