The Pennsylvania State Police have announced the arrests of 492 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances during a two-day detail known as Operation Nighthawk. The enforcement initiative marked its 20th anniversary with a statewide campaign on Aug. 12-13.
“Over the past 20 years, Operation Nighthawk has been extremely successful at getting impaired drivers off the roads,” said Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “We are grateful to our municipal and regional police partners who share our zero-tolerance approach to this serious crime.”
Operation Nighthawk teams municipal and regional police agencies with state police troopers for roving DUI enforcement patrols.
To celebrate 20 years of success, this year’s statewide campaign took place at one location within every troop, excluding the turnpike stations.
More than 400 troopers and over 200 municipal police officers were involved in the two-day operation.
For Troop L, which covers Berks, Lebanon, and Schuylkill Counties, 23 DUI arrests were made, 3 were driving DUI suspended, 109 citations were given, along with 5 warrants served.
The first Operation Nighthawk was in 2002 at Troop P, Wyoming. The enforcement initiative has received national accolades and has served as a model for similar programs in other states.
The Pennsylvania State Police reminds motorists that DUI convictions carry fines beginning at $300 plus court costs for first offenses of general impairment. Penalties increase for repeat offenses and higher levels of impairment, up to a maximum fine of $10,000 plus prison time and a license suspension.