OCEAN CITY — With the holiday weekend rapidly approaching, the Ocean City Police Department announced on Monday it will deploy a group of specialized drunk driving enforcement officers this week in an effort to curb impaired driving in the resort this summer.

A group of officers that are specially trained in traffic safety will dedicate their time to detecting and enforcing impaired driving, according to Chief Ross Buzzuro.

“Impaired driving continues to be an issue in Ocean City, and now with this dedicated enforcement team, we will be able to combat impaired driving head-on,” said Buzzuro this week. “Finding a sober ride home is an easy choice one can make to protect their safety.”

The group of specialized officers is dedicated to making Ocean City safer by striving to eliminate the threat of impaired drivers on the roadway. Other specialized DUI enforcement teams across the state, including the Maryland State Police SPIDRE team, have seen great success and experience significant decreases in impaired driving collisions.

“Impaired driving is one of the biggest problems on our roadways,” said Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Administrator Milt Chaffee, who is the governor’s representative for highway safety. “An average of 175 people have died every year for the last five years as a result of someone being impaired while behind the wheel. I applaud the Ocean City Police Department’s effort to stop impaired drivers and urge all drivers to always find a safe ride home. Call a friend or get a cab, but do not get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.”

The OCPD is reminding citizens this week to always plan a safe ride home prior to consuming any alcoholic beverages. Residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to designate a sober driver, call one of the many local taxi companies or ride the municipal bus.