As millions of people head out on the roads for holiday travel, Connecticut State Police remind drivers they’ll be watching and ticketing if you’re not driving safely.
Police will be doing what they always do, just more of it, because they know there will be more people driving…and more people partying as well.
The state police just sent out the list of some of their DUI checkpoints.
Patrols will be stepped up starting Thursday and the DUI checkpoints mostly start Friday night.
Police want you to know about this – some of these are very specific, like watch out on exit 46 of I-84 Friday night from 7 p.m. – 3 a.m.
The idea is police want you to know about them because they don’t want to pull you over. They want you to be safe. They know from previous years there will be plenty of violators out there.
During Christmas weekend the past 3 years, they have typically handed out well over a thousand moving violation tickets. The number of DUIs has gone down from 40 in 2015 to just 28 last Christmas time, but every year there are dozens of accidents with injuries, and every year at least one person has died in a crash right around Christmas.
Police remind you to drive the speed limit, make sure everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt, don’t tailgate, never use a hand held cell phone while driving, and never consume alcohol or drugs and then get behind the wheel.
If you forget those rules, there might be a car with some flashing lights pulling up behind you to remind you.
Trooper Michael Spry is making sure the roads are safe for drivers. Just minutes into our ride-along he pulled over a driver who failed the field sobriety test and was charged with DUI.
Trooper Michael Spry said, “We are going to be looking for aggressive drivers, erratic driver is distracted drivers. We step of the patrols around there holidays because we don’t want someone’s holiday being ruined somebody getting into an accident.”
This weekend there will be several DUI checkpoints throughout the state.
Trooper Spry added, We want everyone to get where they got to go and just enjoy themselves we don’t want intoxicated drivers are drivers under the influence out here. And if they get into an accident it’s going to ruin someone’s day, Month, year, lifetime.”
Trooper Spry said plan your trip beforehand. Set aside extra time and Make frequent rest stops.Don’t speed or drive impaired and make sure to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
We caught up families getting a head start on holiday drive.
Louis Dasilva said, We are traveling from Savannah Georgia so we actually left last night and it’s been a fairly easy ride.” John Morales added, “Just kind of the better option for us to get on the road early. We didn’t want it to be so super busy so so far so good no traffic.” David Filipkowski said, “We left yesterday actually to come and then we stopped in Virginia now we are on our way to Rhode Island.”
Drivers are happy to see more state police on the highway.
Nicole Brown said, “We are coming from Virginia’s so I’m not sure what’s going on around here but I’m glad they’re being vigilant.” Mark Swiridowsky added, “They’re doing a good job as far as keeping people with their speeds down. I’ve seen then on the highway is a quite a few places that’s good it slows people down. So that’s what we need. “
A record breaking 112 million people will travel this holiday season — on the roads – the rails and in the air.
Americans will get the gift of lower gas prices at the pump.
The average price per gallon is the lowest now it has been all year.
In Connecticut, a gallon of regular is about two dollars and seventy cents. that’s still ten cents higher than the national average.
If you’re driving to New York City or Boston, AAA predicts your trip will take three to four times the amount it usually does – so pack your patience.
If you’re flying – Saturday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest days at airports around the country – including Bradley.
A nasty system of rain and heavy winds up and down the east coast could affect your trip. make sure you check your flight status before heading to the airport.
Travelers hitting the roads here in Connecticut say traffic is already messy.
“Tempted to say par for the course, it was pretty bad, coming down the merit. But not that much worse than usual”, says Matt Laurence who is traveling to New York City.
“Definitely the highways. Fairfield area – there is always traffic there”, says Marissa Lord of Milford.
If you’re driving to see family or friends — pack an emergency roadside kit with batteries – a flashlight – water – snacks and a blanket.