A crackdown on drunk driving by Montgomery County Police over the Memorial Day weekend resulted in 36 arrests, eight of them at "sobriety checkpoint" roadblocks, police said.
A roadblock in the 8900 block of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the National Naval Medical Center resulted in six arrests on charges of driving while intoxicated. Another, at Georgia Avenue and Ballard Street in Silver Spring, resulted in two.
Maryland State Police reported 210 drunk driving arrests statewide, only three of which resulted from roadblocks. State police sobriety checkpoints were set up in Cecil County in the northeastern part of the state and were scheduled for Harford County north of Baltimore on Saturday night but were "rained out," according to Lt. Henry Rockel.
State police said there were four fatalities over the weekend, compared with five for the same period last year.
A spokesman for Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes said his office was not disappointed with the low number of arrests from the roadblocks. "The idea is not to trap people but to make them aware that there are checkpoints. The real criteria over the long haul will be the comparative figures on highway fatalities involving drunk driving," press secretary Lou Panos said.
"This is not just a holiday program," Panos said. Roadblocks will be instituted "on a continuing basis" and the program is "under constant assessment," he said. Officials say that 60 percent of highway fatalities are alcohol-related.
Locally, a roadblock is likely to be set up on Rte. 29 between New Hampshire Avenue and the District line in the next month, according to Lt. James Attick of the Rockville State Police barracks.