Drunken and drugged drivers were the targets this weekend of a sobering dart thrown by the Howard County Police Department: its first sobriety checkpoint operation of the year.
The checkpoints were established in 1988 "to remind people not to drink and drive," said Sgt. Gary Gardner, a police spokesman. "It's a way of reaching a lot of people."
In 1989, 45,500 people died in accidents nationwide. Forty-nine percent -- 22,415 -- of those accidents were alcohol-related.
In county sobriety checkpoints, 241 motorists have been charged with drunken driving, and 30 have been booked on other criminal charges, including handgun and drug violations, Gardner said.
Each checkpoint averages about 10 arrests, Gardner said. The traffic stops last a minimum of 10 seconds.
The checkpoints are coordinated by the department's traffic division, and are usually held near holidays.
During 1988, four checkpoints yielded 41 driving-while-intoxicated arrests, police said.
The next year, there were six checkpoints, which yielded 69 arrests. In 1990, county police made 74 arrests at six checkpoints. Last year, county police made 57 arrests at four checkpoints.
Motorists found to have a blood-alcohol content between .07 and .10 can be charged with driving under the influence, Gardner said. Motorists found to have a blood-alcohol content of more than .10 can be charged with driving while intoxicated, he said.
SPECIAL MUSEUM DAY
Residents in Howard County, you are special.
So special, that the Baltimore Museum of Industry is sponsoring a "Howard County Day," noon to 5 p.m. on April 26 at the museum near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.
The museum has arranged refreshments, guided tours and entertainment for your pleasure.
Entertainment will include music by Howard County's Rockland Concert Band, a vintage auto show by the Chesapeake Region Antique Automobile Club, and a Historical Archaeology exhibit at the Patapsco Female Society by an archaeological team from Howard County.
The exhibit will examine archaeological evidence of theelite boarding school during the 19th century.
In addition, therewill be an exhibit on hiring discrimination and a photographic exhibit titled, "The Best Woman for the Job: Portraits of Non-Traditional Working Women."
Children will be able to enjoy interactive exhibits, including producing cardboard replicas of trucks in assembly-line fashion on the Children's Motorworks Assembly Line.
"It's a great day for the family," said Virginia Remsberg, an assistant curator at the 10-year-old museum.
To get in, all you need is to be a Howard County resident, she said.
"We always take everyone's word for it," Remsberg said. "No one will have to bring a copy of their lease or anything like that."
For more information, call the museum at (410) 727-4808. The museum is at 1415 Key Highway in Baltimore.
COMMISSION POST OPEN
The Howard County Human Rights Commission has an open youth representative post. The commission, which will consist of 11 members by July 1, is a citizens council appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the County Council to make recommendations on human-rights policy in the county.
The student candidate must be a county resident and have turned 16 years old by January. The post is a voluntary, one-year, non-voting term that requires monthly attendance at commission meetings, but does not include participation when the commission serves as an appeals board.
Interested students should send County Executive Charles I. Ecker at 250-word essay describingways in which the handling of human rights could be improved in schools.
The essay should be mailed to Executive Office, George HowardBuilding, 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, Md. 21043. The deadline is May 15.
The commission may review the essays and interview students and recommend three candidates from which the executive selects an appointee.