Connecticut sees increase in holiday travel violations; Rhode Island troopers also busy

Connecticut sees increase in holiday travel violations; Rhode Island troopers also busy

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State troopers in Rhode Island and Connecticut found themselves busy over the holiday weekend, arresting 60 motorists on suspicion of DUI and issuing more than 4,000 tickets for a variety of motor vehicle infractions.

Rhode Island State Police and Connecticut State Police each conducted an enhanced enforcement operation that included added patrols and checkpoints for both DUI and Click It or Ticket enforcement. Both states held the enhanced enforcement from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

For Rhode Island, the numbers were on pace with enforcement results in previous years. State police, who partnered with local officers as part of the annual Operation C.A.R.E. campaign and promoted seat belt safety through the recently launched statewide holiday initiative “Buckle Up Faithfully,” arrested a total of nine drivers on suspicion of DUI, according to spokeswoman Laura Meade Kirk.

The agency also issued “several hundred infractions,” according to staff at several state barracks, though the exact number of citations issued was unclear. Over the same five-day period in 2016, Rhode Island State Police conducted 10 DUI arrests and cited approximately 500 drivers with various infractions.

Further enforcement data was not available.

In Connecticut, the busier travel period in 2017 meant for increases across the board in regard to the number of DUIs, accidents investigated and overall traffic tickets and motor vehicle citations. With added patrols and enhanced enforcement that included federal funding to support the holiday Click It or Ticket campaign, Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said troopers were on the road in force throughout the five-day period.

“Troopers were patrolling the roads and highways across Connecticut, focusing on drunken driving violations and aggressive drivers,” Grant said in a press release.

According to Connecticut State Police, these efforts led to a total of 51 DUI arrests and 3,972 citations including 363 for seat belt violations, 1,010 for speeding infractions and 2,599 for other infractions.  

In comparison, the department conducted 51 DUI arrests and issued 3,710 citations over the same period in 2017. The number of citations for seat belt violations, speeding and other infractions were all up over the previous year.

Grant said the department also responded to a total of 524 accidents over the weekend, up from 392 last year, and assisted with 70 injured motorists or passengers. Two people were also killed in fatal accidents, police said. There were 42 injuries and one fatal accident over the same period in 2016.

Col. Ann C. Assumpico, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and director of the Department of Public Safety, said as the holiday season continues, drivers should be prepared for more traffic, make time in case of delays and always be safe on the roads.

“Even with increased patrols during the holidays, our troopers can’t be everywhere, all the time,” Assumpico said. “But with your help, we will aggressively pursue any motorist whose actions threaten the lives of others on the roads — not only during the holidays, but throughout the year. Let’s all do our part to keep our roadways safe and make sure everyone has a happy holiday season.”


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