PennDOT, Police Partner for Independence Day Impaired-Driving Enforcement

In an effort to keep Pennsylvania roadways safe during theIndependence Day holiday period, PennDOT and law enforcement agenciesacrossthe state are partnering to crack down on impaired drivers.

The initiative is part of a national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement effort which runs through July 8.

In addition to stepped-up enforcement on roadways, the Pennsylvania Fish &BoatCommission (PFBC) reminds people taking to the state’s waterways thatWaterwaysConservation Officers will be on the lookout for impaired watercraftoperatorsthrough the boating season.

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“The Independence Day holiday is a time to celebrate with friends and

family,but we should always celebrate safely,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch

said. “No matter whether you’re driving a vehicle or a boat, never drive undertheinfluence of drugs or alcohol. Designate a driver ahead of time or arrange

fora ride home.”

According to PennDOT data, there were 355 alcohol-related crashes and 20fatalities in those crashes from Friday, June 29, to Sunday, July 8, last

year.This is an increase from 2011, when there were 325 crashes and 14fatalitiesfrom Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 10.

PFCB data shows that 60 people were arrested for boating under theinfluence in2012. BUI penalties can include jail time and fines.

“Operating a boat or other watercraft when you’ve been drinking creates adanger for everyone on the water,” Fish and Boat Commission ExecutiveDirectorJohn Arway said. “Alcohol impairs your ability to operate a boat safely.

Forthe safety of all individuals on the water, please do not operate yourboat,jet ski, canoe or kayak if you’ve been drinking.”

The legal blood-alcohol content in Pennsylvania is 0.08 for motorists overtheage of 21. For underage drivers, the blood-alcohol limit is 0.02 percent.

DUIpenalties can include jail time, license suspension and fines of between$500and $5,000.

“Our enforcement efforts play a key role in protecting the public, but weneedthe cooperation of every motorist to put an end to impaired driving,” State

Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. “Each individual has aresponsibility tostay out of the driver’s seat if he or she is impaired by alcohol or other

drugs.”

Pennsylvania’s DUI Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police and local lawenforcement statewide will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols as part

ofthe impaired-driving crackdown. Funding comes from part of PennDOT’sstatewidedistribution of $4.2 million in federal funds from the National HighwayTrafficSafety Administration.

Visit www.JustDrivePA.com for more information on impaired driving andPennDOT’s other traffic-safety initiatives.