Police from six states will be out on DUI patrols this weekend looking for drunk drivers who are getting an early start to the Fourth of July holiday.
Troopers from the , Ohio Highway Patrol and West Virginia State Police held a press conference Friday morning so travelers know officers will be putting up a combine effort to target intoxicated drivers.
Maj. Tim Mercer of the Pennsylvania State Police they are trying to network with other agencies to have a broader effort against drinking and driving he said while standing at the I-79 rest stop near .
“Driving under the influence continues to be a danger for Pennsylvania motorists,” Mercer said, “and it’s a threat we take very seriously.
Mercer said Pennsylvania State Police have investigated 2,477 DUI crashes this year and arrested 7,400 drunk drivers. Those numbers are actually trending downward, he said, as troopers think motorists are getting the message from enforcement efforts.
There will be several sobriety checkpoints in various “high-intensity areas” around western Pennsylvania and numerous roving DUI patrols this weekend. He added that the patrols won’t necessarily just be on main highways, but also country back roads.
Capt. Cory Davies of the Ohio Highway Patrol said he couldn’t believe the amount of traffic on Interstates 70 and 79 as he drove from his barracks in Cambridge, OH. He hopes the weekend’s “networking” between the agencies will give them more coverage during a prime travel weekend.
“We determined there was not enough of us and we needed to team up,” Davies said.
Capt. James Merrill, who is the troop commander for West Virginia’s northern panhandle, said he is looking forward to working “side-by-side-by-side” with all the police agencies. Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan are also participating in the weekend efforts.
“If we’re able to save one life … because we’re out on the roads, then we’ve accomplished our mission,” Merrill said. “I hope and pray that these efforts only grow.”