WASHINGTON - Local police are on the lookout for drunk drivers this weekend and are spreading the message that drunk driving will not be tolerated during the holiday season.
Maryland State Police say they issued 12 citations and made one arrest for driving under the influence during a DUI patrol in Garrett County Friday evening. Thirty-seven vehicles were stopped during the patrol.
Prince George's County police made seven arrests for driving under the influence on Wednesday, two DUI arrests on Friday night and have issued more than 100 other tickets.
There were also several alcohol-related accidents in the days before and after Thanksgiving - a time when many people are drinking with family and friends.
Police say drunk driving caused the death of 25-year-old Roland Reynolds Jr., who was thrown from his vehicle on Yorkshire Lane in Manassas, Va. late Wednesday night. Reynolds was taken to the hospital where he died. The driver, Jeffrey Davis Jr., 23, was driving under the influence, police say.
Anne Arundel County police say alcohol is suspected to be involved in a fatal crash early Thursday morning. An officer saw a van moving erratically on Fort Smallwood Road in Maryland at about 1 a.m. Police say the officer activated his cruiser's emergency light and siren to stop the driver, but the car sped away and out of sight.
Soon after, police found the van had struck a tree, and the driver had died in the crash.
Though the number of drunk driving deaths have been decreasing annually, there has been an increase in the number of deaths during the holiday season in recent years, according to Mother's Against Drunk Driving.
In 2009, there were 140 deaths between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the following weekend due to drunk driving accidents. The next year, the number of deaths jumped 30 percent to 174 deaths, MADD reports. The legal blood alcohol content for driving is .08, and all crashes involved drivers with a BAC of .08 percent or more.
To help keep D.C. area residents safe during the holidays, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer its SoberRide program Dec. 14 through Jan. 1. Anyone 21 or older can call to get a free cab ride home - for up to a $30 fare - from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
For a list of service locations, visit www.wrap.org/soberride/ or call 1-800-200-TAXI.
WTOP's Dick Uliano and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP and the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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