Roving DUI Patrols to Descend on Street Road Thanksgiving Eve

For the third year in a row, officers from six Bucks County police departments will return to the Street Road corridor this Thanksgiving Eve to patrol for intoxicated drivers throughout the year’s biggest drinking night. 

From 10 p.m. Wednesday to 3 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, more than a dozen officers will be detailed to roving DUI patrols along Street Road and its feeder streets from Bensalem to Warrington.

This year’s roving patrols, paid for once again through a PennDOT grant, includes officers from Upper Southampton, Bensalem, Warrington, Middletown, Penndel Borough and Newtown Borough.

As almost everyone has experienced, holiday travel fuels huge traffic increases in the days surrounding Thanksgiving. And according to AAA, this year will be among the biggest yet with 48.5 million drivers expected to take to the roads – an increase of nearly 5 percent from 2017 and the highest number since 2005.

Meanwhile, the night before Thanksgiving has become something of a drinking holiday all its own.

Together, those two factors can spell disaster. According to PennDOT, the week of Thanksgiving 2017, including the weekends before and after the holiday, saw 2,903 crashes and 21 fatalities reported statewide.

The DUI patrol effort aims to prevent drunk driving by saturating Street Road and the surrounding area with additional officers. Street Road is one of Bucks County’s busiest and most accident-prone roadways, and was home to more than 10 percent of the county’s 6,175 crashes in 2017.

“Wednesday night is historically one of the biggest party nights of the year. Have a good time, but don’t drink or do drugs and drive,” said District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “Let’s all celebrate Thanksgiving safely.”

Similar efforts in previous years have typically netted about a dozen arrests for DUI and drug-related crimes. While this is the third year for the Thanksgiving patrol, the county’s DUI Task Force has been on the street for more than 20 years.

Richard Vona, Director of Law Enforcement Training in Bucks County and coordinator for the DUI patrols, said though big arrest numbers might look good, they’re not the main objective.

“The goal of these details is prevention,” he said. “So if you’re going to drink, stay off the streets or have a plan to get home safe.”

Contact: James O'Malley, 215.348.6298, jtomalley@buckscounty.org