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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
Contact: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2008

                  STATE POLICE LAUNCH "OPERATION SANTA"

   The Connecticut State Police today launched the 2008 holiday enforcement program in an attempt to save lives and prevent injury as the Christmas/New Years holiday season approaches. Operation S.A.N.T.A. S-top A-nother N-eedless T-ragic A-ccident is the major holiday accident and injury prevention message from the Connecticut State Police. This Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) involves all State Police Departments across the U.S.  The main focus of the enforcement is on the most frequent causes of accident fatalities: drivers who drive under the influence, who speed, and fail to wear seatbelts.

   Enhanced DUI and seatbelt enforcement will be constant over the entire holiday season. Traditionally, the month of December is the time that many holiday celebrations such as house and office parties take place. Many of these holiday parties may include the consumption of alcohol. Some partygoers will fail to heed the state police warning that mixing alcohol with the operation of any vehicle is unwise, dangerous and illegal.

   The Connecticut State Police have scheduled numerous DUI spot checks and enhanced enforcement operations on the roads and highways of Connecticut. Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III said, “We are trying to save lives and keep all of our roads and highways safe. Any amount of alcohol never mixes with driving a vehicle anywhere in our State.”

   No one looks forward to spending time in a jail, a hospital or some place worse over the holidays.  Connecticut State Troopers will do everything they can to keep drunk drivers off the roads. The public is asked to join our effort. Anyone who plans to consume alcohol at any festive event should make plans in advance to have a sober, non-drinking driver bring them home. If anyone sees a “suspected” drunk driver, report it by calling 911, this is a true emergency.    

   Seat belt enforcement is an important part of “OPERATION SANTA." Those who do not wear seatbelts and are involved in a crash will likely be injured. Seatbelts prevent injuries, keep drivers and passengers secure and can prevent them from being seriously injured when ejected in a crash.

   Dr. Peter Jacoby, the Director of the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, and Dr. Ian Schwartz, the Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, speaking on behalf of all Connecticut Emergency Department physicians said, “Our Emergency Department physicians support the State Police 'OPERATION SANTA' enforcement program. This is our prescription for survival. We see too many motor vehicle accident victims in the ER and many are seriously injured. Trauma/ER physicians do their best to heal these injuries, but many injuries can be prevented with the simple use of seatbelts and the elimination of alcohol by drivers."

   This year, the State Police message is “Don’t make us Your Designated Driver."  The hope is that the motto will become the topic of conversation at the office, at the dinner table and at all holiday celebrations.

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Lt. J. Paul Vance