Police on lookout for DUIs over Thanksgiving holiday

Jason Addy
York Dispatch
  • Officers throughout Pennsylvania are conducting a six-week campaign targeting impaired and aggressive drivers.

Local police and state troopers are ramping up their efforts to keep Pennsylvania roads safe this holiday season.

Officers across the state will be looking for impaired and aggressive drivers and drivers who aren’t wearing seat belts over the Thanksgiving holiday season as part of “Operation Safe Holiday.”

The Thanksgiving holiday is the most traveled period of the year and also one of the deadliest times of the year, according to a news release from the Center for Traffic Safety.

From Nov. 20 to Nov. 30 last year, there were 3,904 crashes in Pennsylvania, 308 of which involved impaired drivers, according to the state Department of Transportation. Thirty-five crashes resulted in a fatality.

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Over the same period, 147 crashes occurred in York County. Eleven crashes were alcohol-related, and two resulted in fatalities, according to PennDOT.

Local and state police in York, Adams and Lancaster counties will be setting up sobriety checkpoints and patrolling for impaired drivers from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 6 p.m. Monday, according to the release.

The Thanksgiving holiday season, which also includes the start of deer rifle-hunting season on Monday, has some of the highest numbers of DUI crashes of any period in the year.

“The goal of sobriety checkpoints and roving DUI patrols is two-fold: First and foremost, to remove impaired drivers from the road before someone gets hurt and to encourage the general public to designate a sober driver or use a taxi service instead of getting behind the wheel impaired,” said Barbara Zortman, director of the Center for Traffic Safety.

Officers across the state also will  be conducting seat belt checks through Dec. 4, according to the release.