If you thought you noticed more patrols on Connecticut roadways you weren’t just imagining things. The state police were out in full force the week of Christmas participating in a campaign dubbed “Stop Another Needless Tragic Accident,” or “Operation SANTA” for short.

The crackdown ran from Dec. 19 and ran through Dec. 26 and resulted in hundreds of tickets for traffic violations such as speeding as well as at least 15 arrests for alleged drunk driving. The state police reported that by Friday afternoon they had issued 241 speeding tickets close to 700 other citations.

Even with the stepped-up enforcement efforts police said there were still at least 230 accidents that occurred, including a fatal pedestrian accident in Beacon Falls and at least 30 collisions that resulted in injuries.

Police said that the heighted enforcement will continue through this week with sobriety checkpoints throughout the state in effort to deter drunk drivers over the New Year’s holiday. New Year’s is notorious for drunk driving as so many people ring in the new year with alcohol.

In fact, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, New Year’s Day is the most dangerous day of the year for drunk driving accidents, and in 2012, more than half of the traffic fatalities that occurred after midnight on New Year’s Day involved drunk drivers.

If you plan on attending or hosting a New Year’s party keep the following tips from MADD in mind to avoid a serious accident or criminal charges.

If you are hosting a New Year’s party:

  • Make sure each guest has planned a safe and sober ride home.
  • Allow guests to stay over if they do not have a sober ride.
  • Plan party activities that do not involve alcohol.

If you are attending a party:

  • Plan a sober ride home in advance.
  • Do not let someone drive who has been drinking.
  • Call the police if you see someone drive drunk.

With that said, have a safe and happy new year!