PennDOT, State Police Partner for Impaired-Driving Enforcement through Independence Day Holiday - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

PennDOT, State Police Partner for Impaired-Driving Enforcement through Independence Day Holiday

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Pennsylvania State Police

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police and local police are partnering to make the Independence Day holiday travel safer through enforcement targeted at motorists impaired by drugs or alcohol.

"Last year we saw Pennsylvanians make smarter decisions when it came to impaired driving over the Independence Day holiday, and I hope we continue to see that positive trend now," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "If you're celebrating the holiday this weekend, please remember to designate a sober driver."

Last year, there were 256 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from Friday, June 30, to Sunday, July 9. This marked a decrease from 2012, when there were 355 alcohol-related crashes and 20 fatalities. Also during the holiday period last year there were 69 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes.

According to State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, in 2013, Pennsylvania State Police troopers arrested 411 people for driving under the influence from July 3-7.

"Please never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking – you are gambling with your life and the lives of others if you take this chance," Noonan said. "In addition to refusing to drink and drive, I also encourage all drivers to buckle up and to be certain that all passengers do the same," Noonan said.

As part of this impaired-driving enforcement effort Pennsylvania's DUI Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT's statewide distribution of $4.3 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Visit for more information on impaired driving and PennDOT's other traffic-safety initiatives.

Media contact: Ashley Schoch, PennDOT, 717-783-8800; Maria Finn, State Police, 717-783-5556

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