Police departments across Massachusetts aiming to keep drunk drivers off road

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The state is working with police departments on New Year’s Eve to keep the roads clear of impaired drivers. 

On New Year’s Eve, many people go to local bars and drink alcohol to ring in the new year. 

The state’s impaired driving crackdown program, Operation Safe Holidays, aims to prevent people from driving impaired on New Year’s Eve and asks bars to not overserve alcohol. 

New data shows more than 50 percent of impaired driving arrests each year originate at bars. 

“It’s scary,” said Richard Brunelle of Springfield. “People should think before they get in that car. You should think before you open up that can or bottle.” 

Springfield Police will have more impaired driving patrols on New Year’s Eve, especially around MGM Springfield.  

“With MGM Springfield here now, Springfield may be more of a destination for New Year’s Eve,” said Springfield Police spokesman Ryan Walsh. “So, in turn, they will be stepping up the enforcement to make sure drivers are safe.” 

“We will have added patrols out,” Chicopee Police spokesman Officer Mike Wilk told 22News. “Our officers do look for the signs for impaired driving. And a night like this is a zero-tolerance night. If you are above the limit you will be arrested.” 

If a Chicopee Police officer determines you were impaired while driving, you will be arrested and brought back to the police station where you will be asked to take this breathalyzer test. If you fail the test or ask not to take it, your license will be suspended immediately. 

Wilk said their impaired driving patrols will be looking for people driving too slow or fast, not turning their headlights on, and swerving between lanes. 

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