PennDOT, State Police to Ramp Up DUI Enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day

JEFFERSON CO., Pa., (EYT) – St. Patrick’s Day may be a time to enjoy some green beer, but be sure that you don’t get behind the wheel of your car if you do hoist a few. Authorities will be looking for impaired drivers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding drivers to avoid driving under the influence during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend.

State Police will have special enforcement efforts in place in Clarion and Jefferson Counties, possibly including sobriety checkpoints.

According to the Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Association, a professional organization formed in 1979 to address the DUI problem, State Police will be in charge of enforcement efforts in Forest County.

In all counties throughout the state, extra enforcement from the State Police will be in place.

PennDOT officials and Franklin Police Dept. officials had planned a press conference on enforcement efforts on Friday, however, with precautions encouraged to avoid the spread of COVID19, officials decided that the press conference should not take place.

Pennsylvania State Police, as well as local municipal police departments from around the state, are scheduled to be out monitoring for impaired drivers throughout the weekend.

The following departments are scheduled to participate in their local DUI Task Forces:

• Venango County – City of Franklin and Sugarcreek Borough police departments;

• Crawford County – Cambridge Springs, West Mead, Cochranton, and Linesville police departments;

• Erie County – Erie County Detectives, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and Millcreek Township, Edinboro, and Lawrence Park police departments;

• Mercer County – City of Hermitage, Sharpsville Borough, Sharon, and Farrell police departments; and

• Warren County – City of Warren, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and Youngsville Police Department.

According to PennDOT 2018 crash data, in the six counties included in PennDOT’s northwest region, there were 592 impaired driver crashes, including 25 fatalities. In 2017, there were 699 impaired driver crashes, including 20 fatalities; and in 2016, there were 689 impaired driver crashes, 17 of which included fatalities.

PennDOT recommends the following safety tips during holiday celebrations:

• Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if alcohol is consumed.

• Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, or use a rideshare app.

• Never let a friend drive impaired by drugs or alcohol.

• Remember, consuming small amounts of alcohol can still impair you enough to get a DUI.

• As a pedestrian, only cross the street at designated crossings.

As always, remember: if you plan to celebrate the holiday, please designate a driver or use a taxi service. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have consumed alcohol or any other substances.

For more information on crash statistics, go online to the Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool at www.crashinfo.penndot.gov.


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