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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2009 Winner: Maryland’s Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol

All 2009 Highway Safety Award Winners

Maryland Governor’s Highway Safety
Representative, Neil Pedersen, with Liza
Aguila-Lemaster, Project Coordinator.
Maryland Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, Neil Pedersen, with Liza
Aguila-Lemaster, Project Coordinator.

Maryland’s Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol was established in 2007 by the Maryland General Assembly to assess the status and progress of statewide efforts to combat impaired driving, identify deficiencies, propose solutions, and submit a comprehensive report to Maryland’s Governor and General Assembly.

One of the most complete and diverse reviews of Maryland’s impaired driving system resulted in a final prioritization of the state’s impaired driving issues and 42 proposed recommendations which were submitted to the Governor and General Assembly. The multi-agency recommendations included improvements in engineering, enforcement, intervention and treatment, education and the courts. These recommendations included seven legislative initiatives, of which five were selected as part of the Governor’s 2009 legislative agenda.

The staff time and expenses of the Task Force were paid for by the state highway safety office. The Task Force membership, including the chairperson and lead staff person, consisted of 21 people representing a diverse group of public and private agencies and associations which were specifically designated in the legislation. Included were representatives from the judiciary, law enforcement, hospitality, insurance and beverage business community.

The Task Force held 12 meetings, nine of which were convened in subcommittees over an 18-month period. Each subcommittee listened to practitioners and experts in the field before submitting recommendations to the full group. The full Task Force then reviewed the recommendations and issued their final report to the Governor and General Assembly.

The State of Maryland already has reaped the rewards of the Task Force’s effort. The final report was reviewed and adopted by the Governor. Five of the seven legislative recommendations were introduced verbatim by the Governor. Four of these have already become law. Additional efforts are underway to guide the passage of the other recommendations in the future.

The high-level leadership and support for the Task Force’s recommendations and the development and implementation of these initiatives will advance the state’s impaired driving program to new levels and lead to a reduction in impaired driving crashes, injuries and fatalities.

To learn more about the Maryland Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol, contact Liza Aguila-Lemaster at 410-787-4076 or laguilalemaster@state.md.us.