Posted On: September 30, 2011

Police Charge 14-Year-Old for Pointing a Laser at Rescue Helicopter

According to The Baltimore Sun, Maryland State Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy accused of repeatedly shining a laser pointer into the cockpit of a helicopter helping Baltimore County police search for someone threatening suicide. Law enforcement officials explain that shining lasers into the cockpit can blind the pilot temporarily. If someone shines a laser pointer into a helicopter during a critical point of the flight, crew members may become disoriented and unable to perform their duties properly.

The teen, who has not been identified, was charged with attempted second degree assault on police, reckless endangerment, prohibited use of a laser pointer, obstruction, and hindering police. Flight crew members noticed a flashing light in the cockpit and prepared to take precautionary maneuvers. When they saw the light shine a second time, they located the source of the light and directed police officers to proceed to the residence.

Continue reading " Police Charge 14-Year-Old for Pointing a Laser at Rescue Helicopter " »

Posted On: September 28, 2011

Car Chase Leads to DUI Arrest of Off-Duty Cop

On September 23, an off-duty Baltimore City police officer led law enforcement officers on a car chase and failed a breath alcohol test, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun. Prior to the chase, a Baltimore County police officer was monitoring traffic at 2 a.m. when a Black Lexus reportedly sped by at a speed of 72 miles per hour, more than twice the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour. After the Lexus nearly struck the cruiser, the officer attempted to pull the vehicle over. Instead of pulling over, the driver of the Lexus crossed five lanes and cut in front of several vehicles to get away from the officer. Several of the vehicles had to brake suddenly to avoid crashing into the Lexus.

According to published reports, after speeding for nearly a mile, the driver stopped suddenly, but failed to exit the vehicle. Law enforcement officers tried to remove him from the car to place him in handcuffs, but they noticed a semi-automatic handgun at his waist. The driver moved his hands toward the gun, but officers were able to remove the gun from his possession and administered field sobriety tests and a breath alcohol test after smelling alcohol on his breath. The breath test registered a reading of 0.14. The driver was immediately suspended from the police department after his arrest.

Continue reading " Car Chase Leads to DUI Arrest of Off-Duty Cop " »

Posted On: September 22, 2011

Checkpoint Strikeforce Operation over Labor Day Weekend to Help Prevent Car Accidents

The Maryland Highway Safety Office uses the Checkpoint Strikeforce program to educate people about driving under the influence and remove impaired drivers from Maryland roadways. This program consists of highly-publicized DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols combined with media blitzes designed to educate drivers. State and local officers may work together to conduct the checkpoints, which are held during late nights, happy hours and early morning hours when impaired drivers tend to use Maryland roadways.

Law enforcement officers aim to keep reckless drivers off the road with additional saturation patrols. During Maryland DUI checkpoints, officers aggressively pursue those who commit traffic offenses such as speeding and failure to signal when changing lanes or making turns. Officers also target those who do not use their safety belts and those who do not have their children properly restrained. When used with DUI checkpoints and other DUI prevention measures, these saturation patrols can improve the safety of the roads used by millions of Maryland residents and out-of-state visitors each day.

Continue reading " Checkpoint Strikeforce Operation over Labor Day Weekend to Help Prevent Car Accidents " »

Posted On: September 14, 2011

Recovery Month Promotes the Benefits of Substance Abuse Treatment

September is Recovery Month, a month-long observance dedicated to celebrating people in recovery, noting the contributions of drug and alcohol abuse treatment providers, promoting the benefits of treating those with substance abuse disorders, and spreading the message that treatment can be successful.

Some crimes are directly related to the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. Most addicts are not bad people at heart; their addictions take hold of them and change the way they behave. When an addict needs a drink or a drug fix, he or she may do almost anything to fulfill that need. Addiction is linked to increases in several types of crime:

Continue reading " Recovery Month Promotes the Benefits of Substance Abuse Treatment " »

Posted On: September 6, 2011

DUI Checkpoints Target Maryland Drivers

Labor Day weekend signified the end of summer and an opportunity to relax before the fall season. For law enforcement officers, it meant a great opportunity to set up DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols on Maryland roadways. During a DUI checkpoint, officers pull over every vehicle or a predetermined number of vehicles, hoping to identify impaired drivers and get them off the road.

drunk_driving_11181975.jpgPolice officers have very strict guidelines for conducting these checkpoints properly. If they do not pull over every vehicle, they must use a random mathematical formula to determine which vehicles to stop (e.g. every third vehicle or every fifth vehicle). They cannot stop vehicles based on personal preference. If officers suspect that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can ask the driver to step out of the vehicle.

After asking the driver to step out of the vehicle, the officers may ask the driver to perform tests designed to look for impairment. These tests, called field sobriety tests, help officers judge a driver’s balance, reaction time and other factors related to possible impairment. If someone suspected of DUI fails these tests, the officers may ask him or her to take a breathalyzer test to determine his or her breath alcohol concentration.

Continue reading " DUI Checkpoints Target Maryland Drivers " »