The region had the third-highest arrest rate for driving under the influence for the second year running in 2018, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania State Police Monday.

“First responders see the devastating effects of impaired driving every day,” said State Police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick in a release. “Through a combination of education and enforcement, we continue to work with our law enforcement and safety partners to address this serious issue.”

State troopers made 20,143 DUI arrests statewide last year, compared to 19,963 in 2017. State police also investigated 4,926 DUI-related crashes in 2018, according to the release. Troopers investigated slightly more DUI-related crashes in 2017 with 5,180, and conducted 631 drug influence evaluations.

The figures indicate a 1 percent overall increase from 2017 across the state.

Troop K, covering Delaware County, had 1,707 DUI arrests in 2018 and saw 447 DUI-related crashes, according to figures released by the state police. Troopers also conducted 11 drug recognition expert evaluations.

In 2017, the Media Barracks made 622 DUI arrests and investigated 165 DUI crashes, according to a breakdown by barracks.

A driver is guilty of DUI in Pennsylvania if they are impaired by any substance, including alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medication, and illicit drugs, according to the release. DRE-certified troopers receive specialized training to identify the physiological signs of impairment caused by a wide range of controlled substances. Across the state, troopers conducted 758 drug influence evaluations in 2018.

“Troopers have a zero-tolerance approach toward impaired driving but would rather prevent a DUI by educating drivers than arrest them or respond to a DUI-related crash,” said Evanchick. “Every motorist has the responsibility to keep themselves and others safe by wearing their seat belt, eliminating distractions, and never driving while impaired.”

A full list of DUIs and the respective troop numbers can be viewed at psp.pa.gov/for%20media/Documents/DUI-DRE_TroopTotals_2018.pdf.

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