Police stepping up patrols for New Year’s Eve


(WTNH) — It’s New Year’s Eve and people will be ringing in 2016. If you are heading home from the festivities late tonight you won’t be alone on the roads. New Year’s Eve is a busy night for State Police. They will have roving and DUI patrols throughout the state from Killingly to Hartford.

“Basically this is about reducing deaths,” said Trooper Tyler Weerden. “The more aggressive and intoxicated drivers we get off the road the less serious accidents and property damage we’re going to be dealing with.”

Police have been stepping up patrols over the entire holiday season. They are seeing more violations this year than they did last year. So far they’ve given out more than 600 speeding tickets and arrested 40 people for DUI. There have also been five fatal accidents. Police will be out in full force to try to keep those numbers from increasing.

“There’s going to be a lot of roving patrols,” said Weerden. “You’re going to see a lot of unmarked cars, the traffic services unit, the BAT Mobile, which is the breath alcohol testing unit. That’s going to be out there. It’s like a mobile police station on wheels.”

Police won’t just be looking for drunk drivers. They’ll be keeping their eyes open for anyone not wearing their seatbelt, speeding, following too close or using a cell phone while driving.

The extra patrols will continue until midnight on January 3. Police in cities and towns will be patrolling too and paying extra attention to areas near bars and nightclubs. They’re trying to make sure no one has to start the New Year with a DUI – or worse. They’re asking for your help.

“If you see a suspected drunk driver that’s an emergency,” said Weerden. “You need to call 911 immediately so that we can determine if it is in fact a drunk driver and get them off the road.”

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