Pennsylvania State Police made more arrests for DUI in 2016 than a year earlier, and a growing number were for people under the influence of drugs.
In 2016, State Police made more 19,000 DUI arrests throughout the state, according a news release issued by State Police.
This is a nearly 4 percent increase from a year earlier.
“Driving under the influence is a serious crime that puts innocent lives at risk every day,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker said in a written statement. “Keeping the roadways safe is a primary function of this department, and we remain committed to preventing DUI through education and enforcement.”
Cumberland County as a whole saw a more drastic increase in DUI charges last year, according to an analysis of court records conducted by The Sentinel.
DUI cases rose from roughly 1,300 in 2015 to more than 1,500 in 2016, a roughly 15 percent increase, according to court records.
Carlisle led the county with nearly 200 DUI cases last year, according to The Sentinel analysis.
On average, DUI cases account for roughly 30 percent of all new cases in Cumberland County, according to The Sentinel analysis.
The average defendant was 32 years, with the youngest being 18 and the oldest 79, according to court records.
Roughly 8 percent of DUI cases in Cumberland County last year involved defendants under the legal drinking age, court records show.
Nearly 20 percent of people charged with DUI last year were also charged with a drug offense, and drivers under the influence of controlled substances accounted for roughly one third of all DUI arrests in the county, according to court records.
More than half of all DUI arrests occurred between Friday and Sunday in the county last year, The Sentinel analysis found.
While arrests are up, crashes involving a drinking driver are down, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Drunk drivers were involved in roughly 13 percent fewer crash in 2016 than in 2010 and roughly 40 percent fewer fatalities, according to PennDOT.
Drug-related crashes rose from about 2,800 in 2010 to more than 4,100 in 2016, and fatalities increased from 105 to 136, PennDOT data shows.
Specially trained drug recognition experts conducted more than 1,000 evaluations for State Police in 2016.
There are about five drug recognition experts working for police departments in Cumberland County, including Hampden Township Police Officer Matthew Grunden.