The New Year’s holiday is a common time of year for awareness about drunk driving to increase as people in Pennsylvania either seek for ways to get home safely or perhaps choose to stay home altogether in part due to the risk of being hit by a drunk driver. The state has seen varying results from holiday checkpoints designed to catch impaired drivers in the act.
As reportd by PennLive.com, one particular driving under the influence checkpoint set up this past summer resulted in far fewer arrests than in previous years. There was some hope that the reason for this was due to a decreased number of people choosing to drive after drinking. However, it is not clear if drivers’ avoidance of the area may also have contributed to the result. Overall, 475 vehicles were stopped at this checkpoint. Sixteen drivers were asked to take field sobriety tests and two of those drivers were arrested for drunk driving.
The Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System notes that drunk driving arrests throughout all of 2017 were down 2.36 percent from the previous year. Also, in 2017 the state experienced 293 deaths in accidents in which alcohol was a factor.
Despite what some may have thought was a positive trend, the recent New Year holiday saw different outcomes. The York Daily Record indicates that the 406 drunk driving arrests made by state police represent a 43 percent jump from the prior New Year’s holiday. There were 64 crashes involving alcohol. Of the four fatalities over this holiday, one occurred in a crash involving alcohol.