DC-area police patrol for drunken drivers, unbuckled seat belts ahead of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and D.C.-area police are on the lookout for drunken drivers and unbuckled seat belts.

Maryland State Police will increase the number of officers on the road to catch those driving under the influence. Last Thanksgiving weekend, troopers arrested 130 people for driving under the influence. The fees associated with a DUI can quickly reach $10,000 or more, even in a situation where no one was hurt.

Specifically, western Maryland will see more patrols on interstates 70 and 68, while troopers will be visible statewide on highways such as interstates 95, 695 495.

Several state trooper barracks will use impaired driving grants from the Maryland Highway Safety Office to put additional troopers on the roads.

Meanwhile in Virginia, Arlington County police is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on a “Click It or Ticket” campaign to urge drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts.

According to NHTSA, 365 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide during the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, and wearing a seat belt is the most effective thing drivers and passengers can do to prevent injury or death in a crash. The campaign will run from Nov. 25 to Dec. 6.

This Thanksgiving will be one of the busiest for drivers, with AAA predicting that 48.5 million Americans will be hitting the road for the holiday. Nearly 4 million D.C.-area residents will be traveling more than 50 miles for the holiday.

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