The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is urging residents and visitors to avoid driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol ahead of the Independence Day enforcement mobilization that runs June 25 through July 4, 2018.
While the number of alcohol-impaired driving arrests and crashes have been trending downward in recent years, the occurrences of drug-impaired driving continue to increase statewide. Motorists are reminded to never drive impaired by illegal substances and always follow the warnings listed on any prescription or over-the-counter medications, as some medicines can impair driving abilities.
To help deter impaired-driving, the regional DUI task forces, Pennsylvania State Police along with local law enforcement will conduct roving patrols and checkpoints throughout the region from June 25 to July 4, 2018.
According to statewide PennDOT data, there were 2,902 crashes during the 2017 Independence Day holiday season from June 30 to July 9, 2017, causing 40 fatalities. Of those crashes 273 were alcohol related, resulting in 10 fatalities. There were 108 drug-related crashes that resulted in five fatalities.
Crashes involving alcohol or drug impairment are entirely preventable. Motorists should keep their families, themselves, and other motorists safe by designating a sober driver before holiday celebrations begin. Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs, avoid distractions while driving, and always wear a seat belt.
In advance of the focused enforcement period, PennDOT held public safety days to encourage safe driving habits during the summer months. On June 15, a safety day was held at the Interstate 90 Welcome Center in Erie County near the New York state border. PennDOT will host another event on June 22 at the Interstate 80 Welcome Center in Mercer County near the Ohio state border.
For more information on impaired-driving safety, visit www.penndot.gov/safety.