Police will continue enhanced DUI enforcement effort through July 9, agency says
YORK — Police and traffic safety agencies in Central Pennsylvania would like to warn drivers not to lose their independence over the Independence Day weekend by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to a press release issued by the Center for Traffic Safety, municipal and state police officers are out in force through July 9, conducting sobriety checkpoints and roving DUI patrols in Adams, Lancaster and York Counties as part of a national and statewide Fourth of July Impaired Driving Mobilization effort that began on June 23.
The local enhanced enforcement events are all part of the Center for Traffic Safety’s Sobriety Checkpoint and Expanded DUI/Underage Drinking Enforcement Program.
According to the Center for Traffic Safety, the July 4 holiday is one of the deadliest of the year due to impaired driving. Statistics provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation revealed that there were 293 alcohol-related crashes resulting in eight fatalities from Friday, July 1, to Sunday, July 10, 2016. This marked a decrease from 2015, when there were 330 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities from Friday, June 26, through Sunday, July 5, 2015.
Also, during the holiday period last year, there were 101 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes, compared to 99 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2015, the Center says.
Drivers on the road aren’t the only ones being cautioned. Law enforcement agents will also be working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission to step up enforcement of boating under the influence infractions, the Center says.
The legal limit for operating a watercraft in Pennsylvania is a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the same as for driving a motor vehicle. Although Pennsylvania doesn’t suspend the driver’s license of people convicted of boating under the influence, drivers arrested for DUI can face stiffer fines if they have a violation for boating under the influence on their records.
The Center for Traffic Safety and all of its traffic safety partners– including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the PA DUI Association, Pennsylvania State Police, and municipal police departments– encourage everyone to make arrangements in advance of holiday festivities, and never drive under the influence.
“Don’t let your independence be taken away by driving impaired,” said director of the Center for Traffic Safety Barbara Zortman in a press release. “It is our hope that this holiday on our roadways will be the safest ever.”