HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will join in the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired driving enforcement campaign from Aug. 16 through Sept. 4.
Although DUI-related fatalities have fallen by a third over the last three decades, recent statistics show a frightening trend.
According to the NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967 people killed in 2014.
On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2011 to 2015, which equals one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015.
“As Pennsylvanians prepare to mark the end of summer with Labor Day festivities, it is important to remember to celebrate responsibly and make a plan to get home safely,” said Major Edward Hoke, director of PSP’s Bureau of Patrol.
“Troopers will conduct high-visibility patrols and DUI checkpoints, with a zero-tolerance approach toward impaired driving.”
During the three-day Labor Day holiday enforcement period in 2016, PSP investigated 704 crashes statewide, including 61 crashes involving alcohol, and four alcohol-related fatal crashes.
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania vary based on several factors, including an individual’s criminal history, blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and whether or not there were injuries or property damage in the event of a crash. Potential consequences include thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension and even prison time.
“Impaired driving is a deadly, yet preventable, crime that impacts countless Pennsylvanians ever year,” Hoke said. “The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ is to enhance public safety through enforcement and education.”
The NHTSA developed the SaferRide smartphone app as part of its effort to curb impaired driving. The app can be used to quickly pinpoint the user’s location and call a taxi or trusted friend for a safe ride home. The app is free and available for Android and Apple devices.
For more information about the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov.