PORTSMOUTH — A grey Nissan was on a sidewalk at 3:54 a.m., the 21-year-old driver, allegedly “handed out” and intoxicated behind the wheel. The automobile was nonetheless working, between a bus cease and the city’s glowing holiday tree. Hours earlier, the tree had been lighted as thousands attended the city’s holiday parade, together with lots of on the identical sidewalk.
Portsmouth police described the scene from downtown early Sunday morning this week and so they sounded an alarm about protected driving this vacation season after a number of current DWI arrests.
“We do see a rise in DWI (arrests), particularly across the holidays with vacation events and every little thing else,” stated Portsmouth police Lt. Chris Cummings.
Fortuitously, on this case, no person else was within the neighborhood and the motive force was unhurt, police stated.
Cummings stated police have seen an uptick in driving whereas intoxicated arrests in the previous few months, in addition to intoxicated driving accidents within the final six months.
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Up to now, Portsmouth police have logged 78 driving whereas intoxicated arrests in 2021, in comparison with a complete of 45 arrests in 2020. In 2019, there have been 56 driving whereas intoxicated arrests.
Portsmouth police famous among the many 2021 arrests are 18 on aggravated prices and 19 linked to motorcar accidents.
“So individuals are on the market celebrating the vacations, both Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas or no matter else, and so they’re pondering they’re OK to drive after they’re not,” Cummings stated.
Police wrote in regards to the Market Square incident on the department’s Facebook page on Wednesday, posting a photograph of the automotive on the sidewalk.
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“With all the obtainable training, public service bulletins, preventative measures, organizations, enforcement efforts, restoration help, different strategies of transportation, courtroom processes, penalties (monetary and in any other case), and tragedies relating to Driving Underneath the Affect…all of it comes right down to PERSONAL CHOICE,” police wrote.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, on Nov. 30, the Portsmouth Police Department took to Facebook to publish a couple of driver crashing right into a Fleet Avenue curb and phone pole earlier than fleeing the scene, about one block from Market Sq.. Police later arrested the suspect and likewise charged them with driving whereas intoxicated.
“It could’ve ended much worse,” the department’s post read.
During the end of the Portsmouth Halloween Parade, in response to Cummings, a drunken driver was situated alongside the parade route by division drones and arrested on the identical prices.
The authorized restrict for blood alcohol content material in New Hampshire for these over 21 years of age working a automobile is 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are about 28 drunk-driving deaths in the USA every day, about one each 52 minutes. In 2019, the group reported there have been 10,142 drunk driving-related deaths nationwide.
Cummings stated the division is encouraging individuals aspiring to drink to make a transportation plan upfront. Whether or not it’s figuring out a chosen driver to take a seat behind the wheel on the finish of the evening or by paying for Uber, Lyft or taxi drivers, making these lodging forward of time considerably lessens the danger of hazard.
“That’s at all times going to be our stance that we do not need individuals consuming and driving,” he stated. “Earlier than you exit, make preparations.”
In case you need assistance
The Portsmouth Police Division encourages those that witness impaired driving or are concerned in any emergency and need assistance to dial 911. Portsmouth’s police division may be reached at (603) 427-1500.
Granite Pathways presents help for these searching for restoration at granitepathwaysnh.org.
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