State and local police, along with PennDOT, will take part in a national enforcement effort through July 8 targeting motorists who drive under the influence. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement effort will focus on keeping Pennsylvania's roads safe during the Independence Day travel period.
"Many people will celebrate and travel for the Independence Day holiday," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts your life and the lives of those around you in danger. Designate a driver ahead of time or arrange for a ride home just don't drive unless you're sober."
Over last year's Independence Day holiday travel period (July 1-4), there were 897 crashes and 14 fatalities. Of those, according to PennDOT, 146 crashes and six fatalities were alcohol-related.
During 2011 there were 11,778 alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania, according to PennDOT data, in which 425 people were killed. In 2010, there were 11,682 alcohol-related crashes, according to PennDOT, in which 444 people were killed.
"Motorists must understand that alcohol and driving never mix," said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. "Don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you've been drinking, even if you plan to only drive a short distance. Enjoy the holiday, but make safety a priority."
The legal blood-alcohol content in Pennsylvania is 0.08 for motorists over the age of 21. For underage drivers, the blood-alcohol limit is 0.02 percent. DUI penalties can include jail time, license suspension and fines of between $500 and $5,000.
Pennsylvania's DUI Task Forces, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement statewide will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols as part of the crackdown. Funding comes from part of Penn-DOT's statewide distribution of $4.2 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information on impaired driving and PennDOT's other important traffic-safety initiatives visit www.JustDrivePA.com.