Conn. (WTNH) — State police are stepping up patrols for the New Year’s holiday weekend.
News 8’s Jayne Chacko rode along with a state trooper to see how they will be keeping a watchful eye on the roads.
Trooper Mathew Costello is already seeing busy roads Friday night to start the new year’s weekend. He is warning drivers to stay safe and not drive if they have been drinking.
“We want people to go out and have a good time, be with their families, make memories. But always have a plan. If you plan on drinking have a Uber or a Lyft or something in place or someone to pick you up, a designated driver,” said Costello.
Last New Year’s Eve, state police issued 352 speeding tickets, almost twice the amount from 2020. Police reported 243 crashes across Connecticut. DUIs were also up last year with 36 arrests compared to 21 the previous year.
Costello says many wrong-way crashes are caused by drunk driving.
“Your ability to look at a sign and say hey that’s not the right way to go but you’re still going to go, you’re not able to look at it, You’re not able to absorb what’s going on,” Costello said.
Deadly crashes involving pedestrians were also at a record high in Connecticut in 2022. Costello said to pay attention when out on the roads to keep yourself and others safe. It is why they are paying extra attention too.
“Even if it’s a bad encounter with a traffic stop or a ticket, I just want to let them have a smile and let them understand what the reason was for the traffic stop. I don’t ever want to have someone leave and have an upset stomach about what I said or how I handled the situation,” Costello said.
State police are already operating two DUI checkpoints, one on I-91 in Hamden and the other on I-84 in Danbury.