Sobriety Checkpoints Slated For This Weekend
A sobriety checkpoint in York County and roving DUI patrols in Adams, Lancaster, and York counties will be conducted as part of both a national and statewide Independence Day holiday DUI mobilization that began on Monday, June 8th and continues through Sunday, July 8th.
The enhanced enforcement events are all part of the Center for Traffic Safety's Sobriety Checkpoint and Expanded DUI/Underage Drinking Enforcement Program.
The sobriety checkpoint will be held this coming weekend between 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The roving DUI patrols will be held next weekend.
Sobriety checkpoints, roving DUI patrols, and other enforcement activities organized as part of this program are funded with federal grant money provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and established on sections of roadway which have proven to be high incidence for impaired drivers both in terms of crashes and arrests.
Sobriety checkpoints are announced in advance, but roving DUI patrols, "Cops in Shops" operations, and other related enforcement activities may or may not be announced in advance.
Independence Day celebrations often include cook-outs, picnics, boating, and time spent with family and friends. But for too many Americans, the nation's annual celebration is filled with tragedy, as it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.
Impaired driving is one of America's deadliest problems. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that on-average over the past 25 years, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year's Independence Day holiday involved some level of alcohol.
Pennsylvania's roadways saw 416 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 29 lives lost during the Independence Day holiday period in 2010. That marks an increase from the 17 alcohol-related fatalities in 2009.
Police will also be on the lookout for impaired motorcyclists.
The percentage of alcohol-impaired motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes involving other types of vehicles (29 percent for motorcycle riders vs. 23 percent for passenger cars and 23 percent for light trucks).
Because alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle—balance and coordination—it plays a particularly big role in motorcycle fatalities.
"We continue to see far too many people die or suffer debilitating injuries as a result of impaired riding, particularly among middle-aged riders and baby boomers," said Wayne Harper, director of the Center for Traffic Safety, "People do things they regret when they're impaired. Riding a motorcycle should never be one of them."
Of all age groups, motorcycle riders between 30 and 49 years old have the highest rates of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes.
The Center for Traffic Safety and all of its highway safety partners—including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the PA DUI Association, Pennsylvania State Police, and municipal police departments from throughout the three-county area—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 Harper, "It is our hope that this holiday on our roadways will be the safest ever."
Media Contact: Laura Fagan, (717) 840-2330 or (800) 955-SAFE