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Special state police detail nabs nearly 500 drivers

The Pennsylvania State Police recently announced the arrests of 492 individuals for allegedly 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 Aug. 12-13, according to state police.

“Over the past 20 years, Operation Nighthawk has been extremely successful at getting impaired drivers off the roads,” Col. Robert

Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, said in a news release dated Aug. 15.

“We are grateful to our municipal and regional police partners who share our zero-tolerance approach to this serious crime,” Evanchick continued.

Authorities provided the following data details on the operation:

In the two-night campaign troopers came in contact with 6,286 people. Troopers issued 2,219 citations; 4,051 warnings and made 492 arrests for allegedly driving under the influence. Troopers also made 279 other criminal arrests during the campaign.

According to information provided by Pennsylvania State Police, ‘Operation Nighthawk’ teams municipal and regional police agencies with state police troopers for roving DUI enforcement patrols.

To mark the 20th anniversary, the Aug. 12-13 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.

The first ‘Operation Nighthawk’ was in 2002 at Pennsylvania State Police Troop P, Wyoming. The enforcement initiative has served as a model for similar programs in other states.