Pennsylvania State Police are cracking down on drunk driving over the next few weeks as part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign." Learn more about dram shop liability: https://justiceguardians.com/dram-shop-liability/
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) runs the annual nationwide campaign that aims to reduce impaired driving through a combination of high-visibility enforcement on the roads and increased educational efforts.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign officially started in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, August 16th, and is scheduled to run through September 4th, 2017.
The increased enforcement will come in the form of additional sobriety checkpoint locations and more roving police vehicles looking out for impaired drivers.
Certified Drug Recognition Experts will also be available at many of the sobriety checkpoints. The Certified Drug Recognition Experts are trained to identify drivers who are impaired by drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.
"Trying to hit some hot spots, statistically where there are lots of crashes. A lot of traffic, we'll try to hit those spots, because, again, it's about making the roads safe," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Anthony Petroski.
"That person impaired behind the wheel, they may think they're okay, but really, they're not just putting themselves at risk, they're putting other people at risk. And that's what we're trying to reduce."
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the deadliest weekends when it comes to impaired driving on Pennsylvania roads. The only other holidays with more fatal DUI accidents in the State of Pennsylvania are the days leading up to Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
Pennsylvania State Police investigated 704 crashes statewide over the three-day Labor Day holiday enforcement period in 2016, including 61 crashes involving alcohol, and four alcohol-related fatal crashes.
Many Philadelphia residents and individuals living in Southeast Pennsylvania take advantage of the extended Labor Day weekend by traveling to the beach towns at the Jersey Shore. Police departments throughout the State of New Jersey will also be participating in this year's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently launched a mobile app in 2014 that is designed to help get intoxicated individuals home safely if they do not have a ride.
NHTSA's SaferRide app helps people find phone numbers for local taxi companies and can also send a person's location to a friend so that the friend can come to pick up the person. The free app is available for both Android and Apple devices.
Other apps like Uber and Lyft are also available as a safe method of transportation for impaired drivers. In fact, research suggests that Uber and Lyft have helped to reduce impaired driving throughout the nation over the last few years.
"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."