Law Enforcement Urges Designated Driving Ahead of Labor Day Holiday
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and the Pennsylvania DUI Association urge motorists to celebrate responsibly ahead of the Labor Day holiday.
“Labor Day weekend and every remaining day of the year, the message is clear: Do not drive impaired. Our collective goal is to end the suffering caused by an individual's choice to drive impaired." - PA DUI Association Executive Director C. Stephen Erni
Over this holiday period, PSP and local municipal agencies will conduct impaired driving enforcement details as part of a national impaired driving enforcement and education initiative running through September 5. This effort is funded through PennDOT's statewide annual distribution of more than $4.7 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for impaired driving enforcement.
Impaired driving enforcement goes beyond checking for alcohol impairment. Law enforcement also work to identify motorists impaired by illegal drugs, prescription medication, or a combination of both. Pennsylvania has approximately 250 Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) or specially trained officers who look for impaired drivers and assist in DUI investigations when drug-impaired driving is suspected.
"We want Pennsylvanians to celebrate the end of summer with a plan," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "If your celebration includes alcohol, plan ahead for a sober driver. Make plans with a friend, use a ride-share service, or public transportation, but never plan to drive impaired."
According to PennDOT data, in 2021 there were 945 crashes resulting in 12 fatalities statewide over the holiday weekend (September 3rd – 6th, 2021). Of those, 106 crashes resulting in four fatalities were alcohol-related and 38 crashes resulting in three fatalities were drug-related.
During the 2021 Labor Day holiday enforcement period, PSP troopers made 587 DUI arrests and investigated 57 alcohol-related crashes. Troopers also investigated six fatal crashes with alcohol being a contributing factor in one of the fatalities.
"We urge travelers to slow down, buckle up, and use caution when traveling over the holiday weekend," said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick. "Troopers will actively enforce traffic and DUI laws, and we have a zero-tolerance approach toward driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs."
The agencies encourage motorists to ensure their safety and the safety of others on our roadways by designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation this Labor Day weekend, and every time they drink. The public can join the conversation on social media by using #BeSafePA and #DriveSober.
To learn more about PennDOT's efforts to prevent impaired driving or other safety initiatives, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/Safety.
For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.
For more information on the Pennsylvania DUI Association, visit www.padui.org