As families celebrate Christmas and anticipate the New Year, police will be cracking down on an expected increase of drunken driving.

"During the holiday period, there are more activities and more parties," Cpl. Gerry McShea of the Pennsylvania State Police said Tuesday. "There is definitely a spike in people driving while intoxicated.

"Our goal is if you are driving intoxicated that you will be found."

He said state troopers will have enforcement checkpoints set up in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties during this holiday period. McShea declined to provide specifics, saying intoxicated drivers may take alternate routes if they know in advance where the sobriety checkpoints are.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has partnered with local law-enforcement agencies this month for "Operation Safe Holiday," an enforcement initiative seeking to reduce crashes and traffic fatalities.

Last year, drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs accounted for 861 statewide crashes involving 31 fatalities during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year holiday periods, according to PennDOT.

"There is no reason we should be causing pain to families in Pennsylvania by causing these completely preventable crashes," PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt said Tuesday. "State and local police will be out in force looking for people who will be breaking these laws."

Pennsylvania last week joined the HERO Campaign, an initiative that encourages motorists to have a designated safe and sober driver whenever they are drinking alcoholic beverages.

"You can be a hero by being a designated driver," Waters-Trasatt said.