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Nebraska State Patrol: Excessive speeding, DUIs are pandemic trends on roads

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:01 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Monday, the Nebraska State Patrol released numbers for their annual year-end ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign, but it turns out that DUIs aren’t just a holiday trend.

State Patrol Troop A Lieutenant Michael Grummert tells 6 News since the pandemic began, numbers of Nebraska drivers cited for driving while intoxicated have increased following a nationwide trend of those numbers falling.

In 2020, the State Patrol arrested 973 drivers across Nebraska for DUIs, and that number grew to 1,174 in 2021.

In the Omaha metro area, 195 drivers were arrested in 2020, and 236 were cited in 2021.

“I believe there’s a lot of factors behind that also, when you took a look at the pandemic, in 2020 a lot of bars and restaurants were actually closed down and now what we saw in 2021, a lot of those places were opened back up so there was a steady increase inside of that,” Lt. Grummert says.

That’s not the only disturbing trend on the roads, however.

“Excessive speeding is one of the biggest things we’ve seen,” Grummert says.

In 2021, there was a slight decrease in citations issued for those driving over 100 mph. In 2020, 1,093 drivers statewide were cited, while 2021 saw 880.

Compared to the five-year average before the pandemic, these numbers are 37% higher.

In the Omaha-metro area, Troop A cited 189 excessive speeders in 2020 and 146 in 2021.

As we drive into a new year, Grummert encourages drivers to follow speed laws to protect themselves and others, always have a sober driver, and put that cell phone down while on the road.

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