Charles County Sheriff’s Office Hosts Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Training

March 22, 2023

As part of continued efforts to keep Charles County’s roadways safe as well as provide advanced training opportunities for officers, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office hosted a training on March 3 and 4, 2023, which focused on enhanced techniques for identifying people driving under the influence of drugs.

“We are committed to the safety of our roadways and motorists here in Charles County, and one way that we demonstrate that is by enforcing traffic laws particularly when it comes to driver impairment,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “It has always been a priority to keep impaired drivers off the roads, but is now even more critical that officers are able to recognize when drivers are under the influence of drugs.”

The training, the first of its kind to take place in Southern Maryland, consisted of two courses: ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement) as well as a course focused on the effects of Cannabis on the human body.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ARIDE course provides refresher training on the use of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and information on identifying persons driving under the influence of drugs. Participants gained a better understanding of the effects of drugs on a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, and how to identify the signs and symptoms caused by many different prescription and illicit drugs.

The second course that was taught provided information about Cannabis usage and its effects. Officers gained a more in-depth understanding of the effects of Cannabis on a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle and the ability to recognize the difference between the signs of legal Cannabis use and the signs of impairment. This course was hosted in conjunction with the Chesapeake Regional Safety Council.

Instructors for these courses were provided by Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and the La Plata Police Department. A total of 23 officers participated and were from Charles County, Calvert County, St Mary’s County, Maryland State Police, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Chesapeake Regional Safety Council for providing the funding for this training, Mission BBQ in Waldorf for providing lunch for the students, instructors and participants, and the Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department for providing the venue.