PennDOT, Safety Partners Urge Motorists to Avoid DUI Crashes, Designate Sober Driver

SHENANGO VALLEY, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Penn State Shenango, and the Pennsylvania DUI Association yesterday sponsored a community presentation on the impact of impaired driving crashes.

The presentation was held at the Shenango Valley Community Library as part of the ongoing Penn State Shenango faculty lecture series. The program also included an opportunity for attendees to use the impaired driving simulator supplied by the Northwest Regional Highway Safety Network as well as Fatal Vision goggles.

Drinking and driving remains a top safety issue in Mercer County and across the state of Pennsylvania.

According to PennDOT 2014 data, alcohol-related crashes in the state were 4.1 times more likely to result in death than those not related to alcohol.

Drinking drivers were involved in 8.5 percent of all the crashes (104 of 1,217) in Mercer County in 2014. Yet those crashes resulted in 28.5 percent of all the crash fatalities (four of 14) in the county that year.

In light of the Super Bowl game, PennDOT, the Pennsylvania DUI Association and Penn State Shenango are reminding residents to stay safe this Sunday and designate a sober driver or arrange for alternate transportation before drinking any alcohol.

Whether playing host to a party, or attending a gathering at a business, social club, or private residence, PennDOT urges the public to take steps to help keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Some safety tips include:

  • Make sure all guests have designated a sober driver before the drinking starts, or help them find alternative transportation;
  • Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages available;
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter, and switch to coffee and dessert;
  • Never leave a friend alone if they have had too much to drink and might try to drive;
  • Look up the number of local cab companies in advance and keep them handy; and
  • Take the keys from anyone who has had too much to drink.


Along with finding a designated driver beforehand, additional tips to ensure safe celebration include:

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Eat food, take breaks and have non-alcohol beverages, too;
  • For those without a sober, designated driver, call for a cab or stay put. Find out if there is a community, sober ride program before the party starts;
  • Download the Safer Ride App for Andriod and Apple phones beforehand and use if it needed. It can help an user find a taxi service, call a friend or family member for assistance, and view of map of their current location; and
  • Always buckle up.


For more information on impaired driving, visit


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