HARTFORD, Conn. — As you drive to get together with loved ones this weekend, remember you're sharing the roads with others who want to do the same.
While Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate, it can also be a very dangerous time for drivers.
"The numbers are staggering of what we're seeing on Connecticut roadways. Speeds are up, the rates of distracted driving are up. The rates of impaired driving are up. There's a lot of bad behaviors that were developed during the pandemic that are continuing today," said Josh Morgan, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Dept. of Transportation.
Connecticut State Police is stepping up patrols this holiday weekend to look out for those bad behaviors.
Wednesday evening, FOX61 got in a cruiser and followed along.
"We've got increased patrols, so you know we've got stuff for speeding enforcement, OUIs, especially tomorrow it's gonna be a big one," said Trooper Javed Schwapp.
The CT DOT said drunk driving-related crashes rise during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Their message? Buzzed driving, is drunk driving.
"The consequences are real. Forget about paying a fine or a minor fender bender. These crashes could kill you, they could kill other people," Morgan said.
Troopers know exactly what to look out for. In 2021, they made 50 DUI arrests during the Thanksgiving weekend.
"They'll sort of start to drift, or they can't stay in their lane, speed is a big giveaway as well pretty much anything erratic," Schwapp said.
They'll also be watching for any kind of distracted driving, speeding, and aggressive driving.
The main goal is to keep everyone safe.
During our ride along Trooper Schwapp responded to vehicles disabled on the highway. Minor incidents can turn major quickly, especially with so many people on the roads.
"Because everybody is traveling at highway speeds you know and you add in the speed and distracted driving you don't want to risk somebody getting hit so we try to move them off the highway that's like the first thing we'll try to do here," Schwapp said.
State police ask that anyone who suspects a drunk driver to call 9-1-1.
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