SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police Department has received state funds to clear the roads of impaired drivers.
Springfield Police will have extra police officers on the roads looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The state’s Executive Office of Public Safety awarded the Springfield Police Department $25,000 to increase the number of their impaired driving patrols.
“The most important responsibility of anyone behind the wheel is to drive safely.” As summer vacation turns into back-to-school season, it’s important that motorists take seriously their responsibility to stay sober and alert.”Jeff Larason, Director of the OGR Highway Safety Division
Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood told 22News they have about a dozen officers who went through specific training to do impaired driving patrols. One-third of all deadly crashes in the U.S. involve drunk drivers.
“Innocent people can get hurt by this,” Commissioner Clapprood said. “And people tend to forget they have a couple of drinks and they think nothing of it and leave an establishment it puts others at risk and makes people more aware when they see our marked cars.”
Clapprood told 22News their officers are also looking for drivers who are under the influence of marijuana. They don’t have a device that tests for marijuana, so officers check the driver’s eye movement, pupil size, and speech to determine if they are high.
“Every day our officers are always looking for any signs of impaired driving and this grant will allow us to increase the number of eyes on the road to keep our residents and visitors safe,”David Martin, Springfield Police Department Captain
Springfield Police is one of 140 police departments across the state participating this year in the national “Drive Sober or Get pulled over Campaign.”