HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) are urging motorists to celebrate responsibly ahead of the Labor Day holiday.
The agencies are working closely with municipal departments and other safety partners across the commonwealth to participate in the national impaired driving enforcement and education initiative through Monday, Sept. 2.
“Crashes involving DUI are entirely preventable,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “We are asking motorists to keep themselves, their passengers and other motorists safe by designating a sober driver and not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
During the 2018 Labor Day holiday enforcement period, troopers made 660 DUI arrests and investigated 80 crashes in which alcohol was a factor. According to PennDOT data, in 2018 there were 33 fatalities statewide over the long holiday weekend; 13 of those were alcohol-related and seven were drug-related.
The agencies partnered with Silver Spring Township Police Department, Penn State Health, a victim advocate and the Perry County Coroner’s office to share the impact of impaired driving.
- Richards will remind motorists that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
- Municipal Officer Sergeant Todd Lindsay from Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County, will share his experiences as a Drug Recognition Expert, one of 175 specially trained officers who both look for impaired drivers and assist in DUI investigations when drug-impaired driving is suspected.
- Amy Bollinger, a trauma nurse at Penn State Health will share stories of life-altering injuries she’s witnessed firsthand that were caused when someone chose to drive impaired.
- Liz Ellis will tell you how her life was changed forever when she chose to drive impaired.
- Robert Ressler, Perry County Coroner, will share the most difficult part of his job.
Over this holiday period, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT’s statewide annual distribution of more than $4.7 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for impaired driving enforcement.
“We can each do our part to keep the roads safe this holiday weekend by making sure to drive sober, buckle up, and minimize distractions while behind the wheel,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police.
“Troopers will be out watching for aggressive and impaired drivers, so please celebrate responsibly.”
Join the conversation on social media using #DriveSober and #DriveSafe on Facebook and Twitter.
To learn more about PennDOT’s efforts to prevent impaired driving or other safety initiatives, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.
PennDOT encourages you to always plan ahead by either designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation. Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices.
SaferRide allows users to call a ride service or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov.