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Last Thursday night, 24 year old Officer Noah Leotta of the Montgomery County Police Department was in the midst of a traffic stop on Rockville Pike near Edmonston Drive as part of a Holiday Alcohol Task Force. All of a sudden, Officer Leotta was struck and severely injured by a drunk driver who hit the police vehicle and then hit the officer with extreme force. The drunk driver who hit Officer Leotta remained at the scene after the horrific accident. He has been charged with DUI among other more serious charges as well. Officer Leotta was a University of Maryland Graduate and has been a police officer for less than 5 years. He usually is assigned to patrol the Wheaton area of Montgomery County, however, with the holiday season in full swing, he was reassigned to the alcohol task force. Montgomery County Police Captain has said that Officer Leotta’s passion was “policing,” and specifically, “enforcing driving under the influence laws.”
The dangers of drinking and driving cannot be stated enough. There are so many drunk driving occurrences on the roads, and those numbers increase during the holiday season with holiday parties and other events going on. Police across the state always step up their DUI patrols in December up through New Year’s, which accounts for the most drunk driving related citations and arrests.
Drivers should always be cautious when driving by police officers conducting traffic stops on the sides of roads. Police are urging drivers to give extra space to police who are conducting traffic stops and asking drivers to move over one lane to avoid any kind of accident involving a police officer being hit on the shoulder.
Remember that if you are attending a holiday party this month, there are numerous options for people to get transportation without driving drunk. However, if you make the irresponsible decision to drink and drive and you are pulled over and charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Rockville or throughout our many Maryland offices.