Pa. DUI arrests down 17% during 2020 pandemic, State Police say


Pennsylvania State Police

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the 17% decrease in DUI arrests. The error has been corrected.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pa. State Police announced Thursday troopers made 18,412 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in 2020, a very slight decrease from 2019.

Police say in 2019 there were 22,139 DUI arrests, meaning there was a 17% decrease in the 2020 report. They also mentioned there were 4,157 investigations into DUI-related car accidents.

“The Pennsylvania State Police has a zero-tolerance approach toward driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Colonel Robert Evanchick, PSP commissioner said. “Impaired driving is a serious crime that continues to impact our roadways. Troopers were tasked with additional duties during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they continued to work with our law enforcement partners to keep our roadways safe through a combination of DUI education and enforcement.”

Here in Pa., any driver impaired by a substance is guilty of a DUI charge. Drug recognition experts (DREs) are certified troopers that receive specialized training to identify the signs caused by wide arrays of substances. Police DREs made 1,192 drug influence evaluations in 2020.

Pa. State Police consistently offers educational resources to schools and communities on their website and by request for no cost.

“PSP Community Services Officers were tasked with inventing new ways to educate audiences during the pandemic,” Colonel Evanchick said. “The troopers utilized virtual classrooms and completed over 1,300 traffic safety presentations in 2020 for a variety of audiences to help prevent DUI with age-appropriate education.”

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