Maryland State Police to Operate First “Janet Hardy Memorial Checkpoint” Against Impaired Driving

From the Maryland State Police, JFK Barrack:

(Perryville, MD) – Maryland State Troopers from the JFK Memorial Highway Barrack are hosting the first annual “Janet Hardy Memorial Checkpoint” this weekend in an effort to combat impaired driving in Harford County.

On October 26, 2003, Janet Hardy, 13, and Daphine Gizzi, 55, were killed on their way to the Baltimore Farmer’s Market to sell apples with friends, when their vehicle was struck head on by a drunk driver. Since the tragic incident, Janet’s mother, Debbie Hardy has been an advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

As a community volunteer, Debbie Hardy has inspired countless individuals with her presentations on drunk driving prevention, including the Maryland State Police. Recently, Hardy visited with state troopers at the JFK Barrack to share her story in an effort to stop this preventable violent crime. Troopers were so moved by her discussion, the decision was made to name their next DUI checkpoint after her daughter, Janet.

Word spread quickly in the community to the private sector. After learning about the event, the Chick-Fil-A at Nottingham Square donated coupons to be provided to law abiding citizens, who successfully pass through the checkpoint in Harford County. The donation represents a thank you to motorists who have taken the necessary steps to ensure safe and sober driving on Maryland roadways.

DUI checkpoints have proven to be a useful strategy in reducing the number of victims injured or killed in crashes involving impaired drivers. Troopers from JFK Barrack made 582 arrests for driving under the influence in 2012, making them the highest producing barrack in the state.

Troopers from the JFK Barrack will be conducting the DUI checkpoint this weekend along with troopers from the Bel Air Barrack, North East Barrack, and sworn personnel assigned to the Special Operations Division. Deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and personnel from the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company will also assist in the initiative.

A briefing at the JFK Highway barrack will occur prior to the enforcement initiative on Friday, Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. All media are invited to attend.

Comments

  1. Mary says

    Congratulations Debbie! A wonderful tribute to Janet and your dedication to making our roads safer.

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  2. Parent says

    This is a good thing and her memory will live on. I think the scum buckets, who drive DUI/DWI need to be put away for a long time. I have children and would be beside myself if one of my children were murdered. I don’t say killed because the person took the conscious decision to drink. My hat goes off to the mom!

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  3. Patrick H. says

    I do not condone operating a motor vehicle under the influence. However, with all due respect to Mrs. Hardy’s inconsolable grief, check points are an unconstitutional invasion of our 4th amendment civil liberties.
    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Ben Franklin

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    • Fact Check says

      You don’t have a constitutional right to drive a car or fly on an airplane, it is a privilege. If this were truly an “essential liberty” than the licensing of drivers and the requirement of a test to pass would be unconstitutional, just as many defenders of the 2nd amendment claim it is unconstitutional to require licensing and testing to purchase/own a gun.

      You also have the ability to bypass the screening by going a different route or choosing a different method of transportation.

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      • Patrick H. says

        @Fact Check: Do you have the right to refuse a suspicionless checkpoint with no probable cause or articulable suspicion? Do you have the right to bypass the screening once in line?

        “Choosing a different method of transportation”? -you’re really reaching here.

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        • WTF says

          You have the ability to bypass the checkpoint prior to getting in line. So if you are a afraid that big brother is going to see those top secret papers on your front seat, don’t get in line.

          PS. I am sure that you also have a right not to be followed by those pesky black helicopters. Look real close, Jefferson hid it in the closing lines just for your sake.

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          • VET says

            How many people died protecting those rights you are mocking. Grow up.

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          • WTF says

            Exactly 0 died for the “right” to drive. I am not the one bringing the subject of Constitutional Rights to a topic where it is not applicable. I am mocking a fool.

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          • VET says

            The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It should be in effect regardless of being in a car or walking down the street. MANY died for this right. You’re a moron.

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          • WTF says

            We have all heard the Fourth (4th, IV, #4) Amendment arguments against check points and, too bad for your position, the Supreme Court has ruled this form of activity as CONSTITUTIONAL. Meaning, your argument defending the fool who can decide to not drive through a check point, is not on topic.

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          • Patrick H. says

            WTF,
            SOTUS actually pushed the decision back to the states (for now). Checkpoints are ILLEGAL in Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. ON POINT.
            btw, lame pseudonym try maybe “sheeple tool”.

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    • Harford Resident says

      If you aren’t driving under the influence, then you have nothing to be worried about if you drive through a checkpoint. No harm, no foul. If the checkpoint saves even one person from being killed by a drunk driver, I’m glad to relinquish my 4th amendment rights as I drive through.

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      • Patrick H. says

        Interesting, what other rights are you ready to surrender?

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        • Harford Resident says

          My right to refuse to stop at a DUI checkpoint. i never drive under the influence, so it’s not a concern to me.

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        • parent says

          Patrick H…..Are you serious? You have a priveldge to drive on the road. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, then proceed thru the line. I have been thru the lines many times and guess what….never been arrested for DUI/DWI. Now if they want to search my house, that’s a different story. But they do have the right to stop and check to see if I am drinking. The 4th protects you from them searching the car, but if they have to inventory to the car. I hope no one gets murdered from a DUI/DWI.

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  4. Tax Payer says

    Checkpoints have been proven to exorbitantly expensive use of tax dollars with very low returns. Many of the LEO’s are on overtime from the moment they attend the briefing. I find it misleading that the release says that JFK made 582 DUI arrests in ’12 but fails to note how many of those are from checkpoints and how many are from other less costly policing methods. I look forward to seeing the statistics of how many dollars were spent, how many vehicles were stopped, and the sub single-digit percentage of DUI arrests made.

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    • Mike Welsh says

      The checkpoints while not cost effective are great PR. It is a visual for many citizens to see and hopefully affirms in the citizens mind that their police are at work protecting them. Not much different than other organizations that want to publicize their work and presence within the community.

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      • Sure says

        Good P.R. is when the police actually solve crimes like all of the robberies going on in this county—banks, fast food, gas stations—most still remain unsolved. But then, catching them doesn’t raise revenue, does it.

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        • parent says

          its a government agency that relies on taxpayer money and they are not paid by the criminal. Revenue doesn’t rely on how many arrests or tickets.

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          • Sure says

            You are so niave. It is all about the money in this State, just look at the speed camera mess. Do you honestly think some cop sitting at the bottom of a steep hill for hours writing speeding tickets on a road that no one lives on, with no public sidewalks and no pedestrians is all about safety? Right. The more tickets written and arrest for vehicular and driver infractions = lots of money for the state and the insurance companies. When you actually do real police work and arrest someone for robbing a bank, there is no revenue for the State, only the satisfaction in knowing that the police did the job that we pay them to do. No one driving down that hill on that road doing 40 in a 30 ever killed anyone, but that bank robber has caused a lot of grief and issues for many people.

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      • parent says

        I have to take exception to your comment Mike….a little. They are good policing, but may be wasting money, but look at what other money is wasted and we don’t even know about it. I would rather them doing some proactive police work instead of just doing nothing. This is a serious issue and I don’t want anyone to be murdered by someone who got passed the check point. This organization doesn’t pick up close for veterans and need not let the public know. Some times the police make it easier for the criminal to get away instead of just doing the job without telling the bad guys where they are going to be located.

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        • Mike Welsh says

          Parent,

          I’m not against checkpoints. It is Police PR for the most part… that’s why they advertise. Every now and then it also produces some positive results.

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  5. Sure says

    It sure is a good thing they do these things at night when the banks are closed. If it was during the day, I’d have to wonder how many more banks in Harford County will be robbed because the crooks know that all of these police resources are tied up in this big P.R. program. I have to laugh that one bank has been robbed twice and both times the police were doing revenue enhancement activities on the road that the bank is located on during both hold-ups. Guess the crooks knew where the cops were and it was safe to rob the bank.

    I don’t drink, it’s against my religion, so I certainly don’t worry about this impacting me in any negative way other than wasting my time, but it is a violation of my 4th Amendment rights that my family members have fought for around the world for over 100 years.

    The bright side is at least these cops are tied up all night and not out writing nuisance tickets for revenue generation. I too would love to see how much money is spent on this and how many people were actually arrested for drunk driving. I will bet that a lot of folks will get tickets for a tail light out, cracked windshield or some other thing that will help save us from these evil drivers with minor problems with their cars.

    Oh yea, I have a clean driving record for 40 over years, so don’t even start with the you must have had a problem with a cop non sense. I am a good citizen who believes the police in this state waste a lot my tax money.

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    • hmmmmmmmmmmm says

      those broken tail lights lead to other checks and guess what…they are wanted. So just because they are out there writing tickets for lights out….the driver is checked and a good portion of the time, they have an active warrant. Good for you having a clean driving record. You would be the one to not commit other crimes and have a warrant out for you arrest. Harford County has a good record of arrest for DUI/DWI. Also, it’s not a violation of your 4th Amendment. Don’t drive on the road and you wont consent to being stopped. You cannot have them search your car without probable cause. We are in a society, today, that everyone is an armchair lawyer and says, Oh you can’t do that . If you ain’t doin anything wrong….

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  6. Sure says

    Typical cop, you missed the point completely. The point was that the check point would yield little to nothing with regards to drunk driving arrests. You have set up an entire check point and wasted lots of resources confined to ONE area just to write some safety tickets and yes, you MAY find some wanted individuals OR maybe those wanted individulas didn’t go down that road because they already knew you were there. Be much better off just having all of those officers out patrolling the streets for drunk drivers, crime and general driving idiots. Far more efficient use of resources. Oh yea, I think its time you bring up the whole, it’s OK because it’s a federal grant thing, go ahead, it’s Ok.

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  7. King of Common Sense says

    This forum is a good example of the common saying “opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and most of them stink”. One person actually has the nerve to bring up the financial burden of doing a checkpoint, a handful of officers on overtime for a few hours. If you have 6 officers and we overestimate that they are making 50$ an hour for a 6 hour checkpoint that is $1800. After an election we might drop $60,000 ordering new stationery and office supplies because the name in on the header changed, another few thousand sending road crews out to change the “Governor ______ welcomes you to Maryland” sign, when we could just have a sign that simply says Welcome To Maryland. But lets really stress over the $1800 we spent on fellow working class americans’ salaries. Arguing over $1800 in the grand scheme of things is like having a serious sit down with your spouse about how you could cut your monthly bills by 8 cents. Here you have a family that has suffered a serious loss and would like to raise awareness and potentially save lives, if the agency would let me I would stand out there for free, side by side with them, letting them give each driver a brief summary of the pain they have suffered, while I observe for signs of impairment. We are all encouraged to submit ideas that save the agency and ultimately the tax payers money but those don’t make the news. Harford County has a system where officers are standby witnesses rather than appearing at every court date, if they are needed to testify they are called and are present only long enough to give their testimony, rather than sitting around the courthouse collecting overtime when they aren’t needed. This saved the county tens of thousands if not more, and it was the idea of a ground level officer. As for our traffic enforcement in general, we have officers assigned to investigations and officers assigned to patrol. Patrol has to be out in the community ready to respond to an incident, traffic enforcement is a good activity to put those officers to use that can be easily abandoned when an incident occurs. Whoever said that “most” of the robberies in Harford County have gone unsolved could prove himself wrong with just a few seconds of research, property crimes have a low resolution rate because finding out who broke into a car without witnessing it or recovering the property on a suspect is nearly impossible. However, crimes like robbery, assault, homicide etc the vast majority are solved in this county and the statistics clearly show that.

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    • Tax Payer says

      The press release stated:

      “Troopers from the JFK Barrack will be conducting the DUI checkpoint this weekend along with troopers from the Bel Air Barrack, North East Barrack, and sworn personnel assigned to the Special Operations Division. Deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and personnel from the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company will also assist in the initiative.”

      Sounds like more than 6 persons to me. Don’t forget the equipment diverted to the show. Your preoccupation with rectums may be clouding your ability to add. Drive by tonight and count. It’s been imperially proven that a well trained officer is much more efficient and effective on a routine patrol looking for signs of impaired driving. If your goal is truly to remove those impaired drivers than stick with what works. Checkpoints are nothing more than Law Enforcement Theater.

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    • Just Sayin says

      DUI Enforcement Vans like those commonly used at checkpoints cost upwards of $100,000.00.

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    • Nonsense says

      6 Officers, you want to try again. I have never seen one of these check points with only 6 officers. The only stench here is in your bogus b.s. and made up stats. Gee, did you solve the McD’s robbery yet?

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  8. Reality Check says

    Unfortunately there are several documented cases of policing agencies falsely arresting people for DUIs in an attempt to be the “highest producing barrack” or “trooper of the year” or join an internal ranking status based on numbers. While I think that the JFK barrack gets it’s numbers due to the numbers of drivers on I-95 rather than poor police work, we should be aware that in other jurisdictions, “bad apples” were celebrated and recognized while the falsely accused had long term ramifications. The communities that have had this happen were under the impression that they were immune to this type of abuse. What opened the door for it to happen was an “at any cost” mentality like some of the posts here are exhibiting. I mourn the loss of the innocent but do not wish create an atmosphere where other’s will unjustly be punished in their name. Be safe.

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  9. King of Common Sense says

    Way to focus on minor details, would you like to analyze my over use of commas too or would you like to make a valid point? If you really want to get picky, to say things are “imperially” proven is a misuse of the word, they are empirically proven. Law enforcement isn’t the only group to spend money to raise awareness. Do you think that wearing pink actually cures breast cancer? Awareness, prevention, and in many cases funding go hand in hand. If cost effectiveness of a single incident were the end result, we wouldn’t spend a week holding a trial for an armed robbery that resulted in the taking of $25. We do it to prevent future incidents and to raise awareness about the possibility of getting caught.

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    • Tax Payer says

      You chose to make your point with a very skewed set of numbers. I simply responded to your estimate. Thanks for the correction from the Grammar Police. Spell check corrected a typo to “imperially” but of of course the “KING” chooses to show a lack of common sense. Like I said, and you seem to agree – Tax Payer THEATER.

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  10. Our own private Idaho says

    It sounds to me like a few people(or one with multiple identities) posting on here are a bit touchy. I wonder why?

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  11. Tax Taker says

    Cant wait for the new drone net being tested at APG to come online. You havent seen nothing yet. The blimps will be watching!

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  12. Really? says

    Im curious, are you allowed to keep your window rolled up and not want the phamplets they are giving out. Just saying No thanks and waiting for the car in front of you to move so you can move along

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  13. King of Common Sense says

    I have never and will never argue about the existence of bad police officers. I believe there are probably bad people in every occupation if you look hard enough. My point was that even if the operation cost $15,000 that it raised awareness for the loss this family suffered, awareness to the consequences of a DUI/DWI arrest, may or may not result in arrests, and ultimately prevented a small portion of DUI’s and DUI related deaths/accidents then it was money well spent. Especially when you take into account the money saving measures that we have put in place while the politicians continue to throw money around in far greater numbers, ignoring clear options to save money. If every government agency only put their department on their stationery/office supplies we could save from disposing all of it each time an official changes we would save a great deal more on something that doesn’t affect anyone.

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  14. Five Iron says

    Will one of you lawyer types get on here and explain what the “real” range’s of DUI/DWI are? I think most would be shocked that should Officer Friendly get a little pissed with your attitude, your .04 BAC can land you in serious trouble (BTW that is 2 beers for a 200lb man). This .08 BAC is a money grab strictly from MADD/State of MD. The amount of deaths caused by .08 BAC is miniscule and within the range of normal. From the NHTSA “The most frequently recorded BAC level among drinking drivers in fatal crashes was .17, which is more than twice the legal limit.”
    There are a lot of lawyers, judges and others (counselors, drivers ed, etc) making a lot of money on a problem that doesn’t really exist at this low of a level. FYI: I don’t drink/drive anyway nor been arrested/charged/etc but am aware of other people and their families who suffered immensely with a .05 BAC DUI/DWI charge.

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      • Five Iron says

        So you truly believe that a .05% BAC (1 and 1/2 beer) impairs you to such an extent that it should cost you over 10k dollars to pay the lawyers and other legal leeches and ruin your entire life? It’s ridiculous. A BAC of .10 should be the standard and the lowest level should be the .07 (less if you drive commercially). Anything less than .07 should be non chargeable and I’ll even give you a fine IF an accident happens. Once again, FATAL accidents, avg BAC is .17 (NHTSA). Hopefully you or someone in your family doesn’t experience this type of attack on yourself.

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        • Knew Observer says

          Five Iron,
          The links posted above show that you can get charged in some jurisdictions with out even drinking. “Snead” seems to think that a little collateral damage is ok. My guess is that Snead is a LEO and could crash into a checkpoint and they’d look the other way. Let’s put a checkpoint outside the FOP lodge on a Friday night.

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  15. Concerned female voter says

    Wow. I know the Gizzi family personally, and not only did the grandmother die, the granddaughter endured a painful broken leg. She saw her best friend and grandmother die. It doesn’t have to be a fatal accident to cause harm. The drunk driver was the friend of a friend, and as I recall, was following his girlfriend home. I do not know if he knew he was seriously impaired. He also paid with his life.
    A checkpoint there is a wonderful idea. There are many worse things to spend our tax money on. As of now, the SCOTUS has not ruled them unconstitutional, and Maryland law allows them.
    I am sure the many family and friends of both the victims and the drunk driver wish a checkpoint had been present that morning.

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