Heading into Labor Day Weekend, Bucks police departments are stepping up their DUI enforcement with additional officers on duty in at least eight of the county’s municipalities.
Extra patrols in Bensalem, Doylestown, Middletown, New Britain, Newtown, Upper Southampton, Warrington and Warwick townships will be funded through a continuing federal safety grant administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
On Friday night, Middletown, Newtown and Warrington will have two additional officers in their townships patrolling for DUI infractions. Bensalem, New Britain Southampton and Warwick will have one additional officer.
On Saturday night, Middletown and Warrington will again have two extra officers for DUI enforcement, and Bensalem, Doylestown, New Britain, Upper Southampton and Warwick will have one each.
The added patrols will be in effect from about 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day. All drivers found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested.
Labor Day has a history of deadly driving in Pennsylvania. In 2014, it was the state’s deadliest holiday weekend. Twenty-four people died in 858 crashes over the Labor Day weekend two years ago, according to PennDOT. Alcohol use was involved in just 13 percent of all Pennsylvania holiday crashes in 2014, yet alcohol-related crashes accounted for 41 percent of those who were killed.
This weekend’s added patrols are the sixth in a year-long series of enforcement actions undertaken by Bucks County’s DUI Task Force. The task force has conducted roving DUI patrols on Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day weekend and July 4 weekend, as well as a DUI checkpoint in Newtown Township on St. Patrick’s Day.
During the July 4 weekend patrols in Bensalem, 69 stops were made, resulting in three arrests for DUI, three arrests for drug possession, and 33 citations.
The grants, which help pay the added salary of officers who participate in the patrols, as well the costs of equipment used in DUI enforcement, are provided through PennDOT and NHTSA, in cooperation with the PA DUI Association.