Troop B of the Pennsylvania State Police reported the highest number of DUI arrests and DUI-related crashes in the state during Thanksgiving holiday enforcement from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.
Troop B has five stations that cover Fayette, Greene, Washington and parts of Westmoreland and Allegheny counties. The troop also reported the highest number of seat belt citations, according to data from state police in Harrisburg.
“Holiday enforcement means we’re more visible out on the roads to keep people safe,” said Trooper Robert Broadwater.
State police increase patrols on holidays when traffic increases. Thanksgiving is the busiest holiday for travel, with the highest number of people traveling Wednesday night and Thanksgiving Day. Drinking also increases over the holiday, he said.
The statewide data showed an increase between 2018 and 2019 in DUI arrests, and citations for speeding, seat belts and child safety seats, along with general traffic citations.
“Of the 1,116 crashes investigated, 73 were alcohol related and 247 people were injured. State police made 729 DUI arrests over the long holiday weekend. The total represents a 14% increase from the 637 DUI arrests made during the same period in 2018,” the press release said.
Troop B reported 74 DUI arrests, compared to a total of 729 in the state. There were nine crashes related to alcohol, compared to 73 statewide. Ten of 50 total crashes resulted in injuries, and none of those were fatal. Local troopers issued 194 seat belt citations, compared to 1,366 across the state. The troop also reported 50 criminal arrests, which was the fifth highest among the state’s 16 troops.
Broadwater attributed the troop’s high numbers to its locations including interstates.
“Where we’re located in Southwestern Pennsylvania, our Troop B and the five stations we cover, includes I-70 which goes across the country, as well as I-79 going up to Erie. We cover the major vessels going in and out of Pittsburgh,” he said.
Travelers flying out of Pittsburgh International Airport use roads covered by state police in Troop B to drive to Moon Township. Many people also use Interstates 70 and 79 to reach their destinations, or Route 43 to I-376, which are also covered by Troop B, he said.
“The more visible our patrols, the more safe the community and our roadways are going to be,” Broadwater said.