Conn. (WTNH) — After a fatal drunk-driving crash Friday and another close call overnight for a police officer, State Troopers are out with a warning for drivers.
We are not even to the holiday season yet and already drunk driving is rearing its ugly head.
Early Friday morning in Enfield, a man was driving home from work when police say he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The drunk driver walked away from the crash and refused medical treatment. And in Branford, police released dashcam video showing a drunk driver on the wrong side of the road almost colliding with a police officer head-on. Police say this happens more than you would think.
State Police Trooper Justin Loftus said the same thing happened to him two weeks ago.
“I almost collided head-on with that vehicle and we ended up catching up to the operator a little later on, and she was placed under arrest for O.U.I [Operating Under the Influence]…People need to realize that their actions affect other people’s lives, as well. They need to think about those consequences, again when they consume alcohol or smoke marijuana and get behind the wheel of a car.”
This holiday season, don’t be surprised if police ask you to walk the white line or do some of the DUI sobriety tests for marijuana, that’s because it’s the first holiday season they have the new marijuana laws and they say they don’t have a breathalyzer for it. They use dexterity tests to see if you are impaired while driving.
Trooper Loftis explained, “Once you are placed under arrest you are transported back to the troop and we can request a drug recognition expert to respond to the troop and give them an evaluation.“
Troopers who work interstates 84 and 91 in the Hartford area say drunk driving is common place, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. Sometimes they can even have multiple drunk drivers at the same time. Police encourage people to have a designated driver or call a Lyft or Uber.
Trooper Loftis said, “With all the options available today, there’s really no excuse for someone to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
If you do get behind the wheel drunk and you kill somebody, the penalties are very steep. You could be charged with manslaughter and have to do some serious time behind bars.