EASTON — The Maryland State Police, Easton Barracks are ramping up efforts in 2018 to stop drunk driving in its tracks. Last January, the barrack made 23 DUI arrests; that number has nearly doubled with 40 DUI arrests in the first month of 2018.
“We have always had drunk drivers on the road, that hasn’t changed, but now we have really geared down to directive targeting of where these drunk drivers are at,” Lt. Prendi Garcia, commander of the Easton Barracks, said.
Garcia attributes the increased numbers to new initiatives the MSP is making across the state. Those initiatives include the overlapping of troopers schedules and targeting “hot spot” areas.
“The new data-driven strategy is being used throughout the agency,” Garcia said. “We are looking at this data to determine how we can be more effective and this seems to have the greatest impact.”
By monitoring “hot spot areas” to catch drunk drivers, Garcia said they are able to prevent accidents from occurring.
“Just because of these initiatives, our accident reports have reduced by 45 percent,” Garcia said. “By looking at these hot spot areas where accidents frequently happen, and looking at peak times — putting troopers there — just in this brief time period we are seeing a 45 percent reduction.”
Within the first week of January, troopers arrested eight adults and one juvenile on charges of driving under the influence. The juvenile, 17, of Cambridge, was arrested after a traffic stop in Easton and was ultimately released to a parent.
Other individuals charged with DUI following a routine traffic stop were: Marvyn Jay Downes, 45, of Ridgely; Glenn Chaundey Sampson, 44, of East New Market; and Gary Jesse Warren Lambert, 63, of Baltimore.
For the same time period, there were two incidents involving a single-vehicle accident in which drivers face DUI charges. On Jan. 1, Christian McKinley Smith, 24, of Trappe, was charged after crashing her vehicle into a guardrail on U.S. Route 50 near Buck Bryant Road in Trappe. And on Jan. 4, David Wilson Hughes, 57, of East New Market, was charged with DUI following an accident in Trappe.
In addition to DUI charges, troopers arrested three people for possession of marijuana and controlled dangerous substances.
According to police, Bradford Adam Hyson, 57, of McDaniel, was involved in a single-vehicle accident in St. Michaels and was charged with DUI and cited for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.
In another incident, police said a Cambridge man, James Bennett Spear Jr., 51, was parked partially in the roadway in Trappe and refused to exit his vehicle. After numerous attempts, troopers broke Spear’s vehicle window and escorted him out of his vehicle. Spear was charged with drunk driving, failure to obey a lawful order and possession of marijuana.
Tony Mitchell Willey, 33, of Cambridge, was charged with fleeing and eluding police, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on revoked license and other traffic violations after a traffic stop in Trappe. He was also charged with possession of cocaine and CDS paraphernalia.
By the end of the third week of January, MSP arrested 11 individuals for DUIs and other charges including possession of cocaine and Xanax.
From Sunday, Jan. 14, to Saturday, Jan. 20, troopers charged the following with DUIs following routine traffic stops in the tri-county area; Allister Darnell Todd, 32, of Cambridge; Jacob Mitchell Thomas III, 39, of Denton; Lonnie Elmor Griffin, 32, of Goldsboro; Jennifer Clark Stevens, 45, of St. Michaels; Jesse Townsend Harrison, 59, of Wittman; Debra Maxine Williams, 60, of Hurlock; Jimmy Mendoza, 61, of Montgomery Village; and Jessica Lauren Anthony, 35, of Greensboro.
Within the same time period, troopers arrested two men for driving under the influence and for possession of drugs.
Darryl Jolley, 54, of East New Market, was charged with DUI following a traffic stop in Hurlock and he was also charged with possession of cocaine and morphine pills.
Ryan Nicholas Salyers, 25, of Pasadena, was charged with DUI and possession of prescription pills (Xanax) after being stopped in Vienna. Police said Salyers went before a district court commissioner and is currently being held on a $3,000 bond.
For the last ten days of the month, troopers charged 16 drivers and made arrests for malicious destruction of property, possession of heroin, marijuana and a firearm.
According to police, the following individuals were charged with DUI during routine traffic stops; Christy Lynne Perry, 41, of Greensboro; Jennifer Diane Hightower, 32, of Easton; Brian Gunner Parker, 30, of Hurlock; Ronald Lee McCann, 52, of Federalsburg; Roger Lee Sheffield Sr., 54, of Hurlock; Levonte Jamar Dockins, 30, of Hurlock, Shawn Harley Ryan, 28, of Del.; Sandra Thompson, 65, of Cordova; Brian Thomas Callahan, 45, of Denton; and Jessica Stull, 29, of Hurlock.
Also during a routine traffic stop in Greensboro, police charged Erik Lawrence Hignutt, 49, of Henderson, with DUI and for violation of a mandatory ignition interlock for his vehicle along with possession of three shotguns.
During the same time frame, troopers arrested the following individuals for driving under the influence, drug possession and outstanding warrants.
Brandon Trice, 29, of Cordova, for DUI and possession of heroin following a traffic stop in Cordova.
Nicole Elizabeth Wix, 27, of McDaniel, for DUI, malicious destruction of property and for possession of marijuana less than 10 grams.
Robert Edward Goldsboro III, 26, of Cordova, for DUI, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana under 10 grams. According to court documents, Goldsboro was also picked up on an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court from a previous DUI charge.
Tony Douglas Fosque, 25, of Cambridge, was charged with DUI and cited for possession of marijuana less than 10 grams after a traffic stop in Easton.
Matthew Douglas Bradshaw, 20, of Rhodesdale, was charged with DUI and possession of a firearm after a traffic stop in Denton.
Overall, troopers conducted 3,200 traffic stops, compared to 2,300 stops reported last year. In about 70 percent of the stops, the driver only received warnings.
He said “one of the biggest components we are seeing is that the public is calling us and saying ‘I think we have a drunk driver here, or something is wrong here.’ When we are getting those calls, we are immediately sending troopers out there. The public is really being an extra set of eyes and ears for us and we are successful because of them.”
Garcia encourages the public to continue to report possible drunk drivers to the Easton Barracks by calling 410-819-4747 or dial #77 to get the nearest state police barrack.