This article was originally published on by Tim Hahn on September 9, 2018

The number of people arrested by Pennsylvania State Police troopers statewide for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs continued to grow in 2017, as did the number of DUI-related crashes investigated by troopers.

But the number of DUI arrests by state police troopers in Erie and three surrounding counties dropped in 2017, and state police data shows that arrests by local troopers are down again this year.

The agency announced at the end of August that the 19,963 DUI arrests by troopers statewide in 2017 reflected a 1 percent increase over DUI arrests in 2016. The number of people arrested for DUI in 2016 was up 3.8 percent over 2015, and 2015′s arrests increased by 6.2 percent over 2014, according to state police data.

“Driving under the influence — regardless of the method of impairment — is a serious crime that puts the lives of drivers, passengers, and first responders at risk every day,” Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick, acting commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, stated in a news release announcing the 2017 DUI data. “The consequences of a DUI conviction are long-lasting, and the results of a DUI-related crash can be devastating.

Troopers statewide investigated 5,180 DUI-related crashes in 2017, up from 4,520 in 2016.

Troopers in state police Troop E, which covers Erie, Crawford, Venango and Warren counties, made 1,310 DUI arrests in 2017, with 815 of those arrests made by troopers out of the troop’s three stations in Erie County — headquarters in Lawrence Park Township, Girard and Corry. The total number of arrests in the troop was down about 8 percent from the number of arrests in 2016, according to state police data.

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