The PA DUI Association, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania State Police and municipal law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth, will be concentrating enforcement efforts on detecting and removing intoxicated drivers from the roadways over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Law Enforcement will also be partnering with Buckle Up PA to remind drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts on every ride.
Thanksgiving has become one of the deadliest times of the year on America's roads because "Thanksgiving Eve," the Wednesday before the holiday, has become one of the year's biggest drinking days. Whether it's young people home from college or adults who know they have the next day off from work, Thanksgiving Eve has contributed to a rise in drunk driving deaths around the holiday.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's statistics indicate that during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday season there were a total of 3,962 crashes. The crashes occurred statewide and included the weekend before, during and after Thanksgiving. These crashes resulted in 38 fatalities. A closer look at those statistics reveals that of the 3,962 crashes, 470 were impaired driver crashes that resulted in 15 fatalities.
"We can all make it to the table this Thanksgiving by joining together to make sure everyone is driving safe and sober," said C. Stephen Erni, Executive Director of the PA DUI Association. "Simply put if every motorist drives sober or makes a plan to get home safely and buckles up every ride we create a safer driving experience for all motorists."
The Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence (PA DUI) Association reminds all drivers that reaction times can be significantly reduced when under the influence of alcohol or certain drugs. Last minute reaction times may not be enough to stop a vehicle before causing a life-threatening crash. Alcohol or substance-impaired driving can be a lethal combination.
If you fail to heed this warning and you're apprehended driving impaired, your problems have just begun; you could face jail time, fines, loss of driver's license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. Although these consequences impact significantly on the offender and their family it can't compare to the heartache and devastation that results from the loss of a loved one.
Wearing a seat belt during this time of the year is equally important regardless if you are the driver or a passenger. A seat belt works in conjunction with passenger airbags and are proven time and time again to save lives. The law enforcement presence on Commonwealth roadways will be increased significantly due to the heavy traffic volume routinely seen over Thanksgiving. In addition to looking for speeding drivers, aggressive driving behaviors, seat belt usage will also be a focus of their efforts to reduce crashes and injuries as well as prevent fatalities.
The Pennsylvania DUI Association wishes everyone a happy, healthy Thanksgiving and reminds everyone to drive sober and buckle up.
The Lycoming County DUI Task Force will be participating in DUI roving patrol enforcements throughout the Thanksgiving Holiday. There will be checkpoints set up targeting high DUI related crash areas, according to compiled statistical data.
State Police would also like to remind motorists of the "Duty of Driver in Emergency Response Areas" law which states that drivers shall move over to an open lane and/or reduce speed when they see police stopped along the roadway with their emergency lights activated, or other emergency vehicles with their lights activated.