State police will increase patrols near highway work zones following the recent string of crashes involving suspected drunken drivers that have injured officers and highway workers.
State police spokesman David Procopio said the stepped up patrols will begin this weekend. How work zones are set up or protected is not the problem, he said.
“The real problem is drunk or drugged drivers and the reckless and irresponsible behaviors of people who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using controlled narcotics,” he said. “This is a reflection of the wider problem of drunk and drugged driving on all roads, which is magnified somewhat at work zones because a drunk or stoned driver cannot safely negotiate the work zone setup.”
Officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints near highway construction work zones and in areas with a high rate of drunken driving, he said. Funding from the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security will also be put towards extra patrols around work zones.
Last week, a highway worker was killed after being struck by an alleged drunk driver while collecting cones on 1-93 in Medford. And most recently, a Revere police officer was injured early Thursday while working a pothole repair detail on Route 1.