Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dozens arrested for drunk-driving in holiday police crackdown

Pennsylvania State Police handled fewer wrecks - but dealt with more drunk drivers - during the holiday weekend and through Christmas Day than last year on highways in Philly and Montgomery and Delaware counties, and in smaller municipalities without police departments, according to statistics the agency released today.

Dozens arrested for drunk-driving in holiday police crackdown

Philadelphia police car
Philadelphia police car

This post was updated (at 1 p.m.) to include statewide statistics.

Pennsylvania State Police handled fewer wrecks - but dealt with more drunk drivers - during the holiday weekend and through Christmas Day than last year on highways in Philly and Montgomery and Delaware counties, and in smaller municipalities without police departments, according to statistics the agency released today.

Troopers in the three counties responded to 109 crashes from Dec. 21 through Christmas Day. Eight were alcohol-related, and none were fatal, according to the data. State police also arrested 32 people for driving under the influence and issued another 794 traffic citations during the five-day enforcement period.

Compare that to 115 crashes (including six involving alcohol), 16 DUI arrests and 709 traffic citations during the same period in 2011, data shows.

Statewide, seven people were killed and 315 others were injured in 1,336 crashes (108 alcohol-related) investigated by state police during the five-day Christmas weekend. Troopers statewide arrested 348 people for drunk-driving and issued 2,152 speeding citations, 313 tickets for failure to wear seat belts and 37 citations to drivers who failed to restrain their children properly in child safety seats.

 State police will also step up patrols for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day through two initiatives -- Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) and STEAD-D (Selective Traffic Enforcement Against Drunk-Driving). Operation CARE is a national program aimed at reducing crashes on interstate highways during holiday weekends by targeting speeding, impaired driving and failure to use safety restraints. STEAD-D is a federally funded program that allows authorities to crack down on drunk drivers by adding more roving patrols and sobriety checkpoints.

During the two-day New Year's crackdown last year, state police handled 70 crashes (five alcohol-related), made 23 DUI arrests and issued 553 citations in the three-county region, records show.

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Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

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