HARTFORD, Conn. — The unofficial kick-off to summer has arrived. That means people will be getting together across Connecticut to celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend. It also means Troopers will be out in full force to crack down on people driving under the influence.
"I’ve gone to many families’ houses and had to give them the notice that their loved one is no longer coming home as a result of a DUI accident," said Trooper Alex Ricciardi of Troop H in Hartford, who issued two speeding tickets on I-91 Wednesday afternoon while Fox61 was along for the ride.
"That's one of the most challenging parts of this job having to give a family member that news. I don’t want to do another one of those.”
State Police are stepping up roving DUI patrols at all 11 Troops throughout the three-day weekend.
Last Memorial Day weekend State Police made 37 DUI arrests and issued 615 speeding tickets. They also responded to 359 crashes that killed 10 people.
“Immediately you can smell the odor of alcohol coming from their breath. Their eyes could be bloodshot and watery from being under the influence of drugs," Trooper Ricciardi said. “That’s a major issue we have during all holidays of the year not just Memorial Day Weekend. It’s also every weekend. They don’t even realize that they have open containers in plain view. Immediately, that’s enough probable cause we need to initiate testing on the side of the highway."
Police also remind drivers of the "Move Over" law, which requires drivers approaching stationary vehicles to slow and move over if traveling in the lane adjacent to the stationary vehicle.
People under the influence are encouraged to use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft and if you see someone driving erratically, call 9-1-1.
Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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