State police on lookout for distracted, impaired drivers during holiday enforcement

A file photo of a Connecticut State Police cruiser.

Connecticut State Police troopers will step up enforcement for the next two weeks as the holiday season pushes onward to crack down on distracted and impaired drivers.

State police on Monday urged drivers hitting the roads during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to ditch the distractions and plan carefully.

“While on patrol, troopers will focus on distracted driving and those who may be operating under the influence,” said Col. Stavros Mellekas, commanding officer of the Connecticut State Police. “Please, be our partners in safety by following state laws on the road.”

State police urged drivers to follow posted speed limit signs, keep a safe distance distance between vehicles, wear seat belts, avoid cellphone usage and adhere to the Move Over Law. Troopers also urged motorists to never get behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol.

Mellekas also encouraged drivers to keep an eye on the forecast. Drivers should also keep a shovel, sand or salt in their trunk for emergencies.

“Weather conditions can change rapidly this time of year,” he said. “We ask all drivers to please heed any weather precautions prior to leaving for their destination. The safety of everyone on the road should remain your top priority.”

Drivers should fill their gas tank prior to their drive; fully charge their phone for emergencies; and stash winter blankets, drinking water and snacks in the vehicle.

State police did not indicate whether there would be DUI checkpoints.

Law enforcement agencies are required to release the locations of planned DUI checkpoints in advance because of a 1990 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that checkpoints were constitutional if they are publicized in advance. If a checkpoint is not announced by police and a person is detained, it can be considered a Fourth Amendment rights violation.

Connecticut Media Group