Holiday weekends are usually a popular time for Connecticut residents to be on the road. Without caution, however, holidays can also be hazardous for drivers. Three-day weekends, such as Labor Day weekend, mean extra law enforcement on the road to keep drivers safe. One of the main priorities for police is drunk driving.
While Labor Day may not seem like a holiday that needs extra enforcement, statistics from 2010-2014 help shed light on the seriousness of drinking and driving during this weekend. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol was involved in 30 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2014. Alcohol has been a factor in numerous crashes, taking the lives of 750 people in a four-year span. Additionally, the statistics have shown that drinking and driving after midnight is especially dangerous, with two out of three drunken motorcyclists killed during these hours. However, alcohol can cause a crash at any time. Between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. in 2014, drunk driving crashes occurred that caused 83 percent of deaths.
Over this past Labor Day weekend, the Connecticut State Police made drunk driving a priority. In a previous article, WTNH stated that the police set up checkpoints to monitor for drunk drivers, in addition to monitoring traffic for other violations. Over the holiday weekend, police arrested 51 people on drunk driving charges. This is six more people than were arrested in 2015. Police also handed out 3,352 violations for tailgating and other reckless maneuvers.
Although Connecticut troopers investigated 283 accidents over the recent holiday, none of them were fatal. Labor Day Weekend in 2015 saw three fatal car crashes. While the decrease in fatal accidents cannot be attributed to any one cause, it is a good sign that drivers are taking their safety seriously over holiday weekends.