Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation Leslie S. Richards announced that, “even though the number of people killed in drug- and alcohol-related crashes decreased [in 2014, PennDOT] and law enforcement will not reduce our efforts to make Pennsylvania roads safer. Enforcement and education efforts occur year round, but will be especially focused through the upcoming holiday travel period.” Combating impaired driving is one of the Department of Transportation’s most important functions.
Statewide, drug- and alcohol-related crash fatalities decreased from 512 in 2013 to 485 in 2014. Last year, there were 144 alcohol-related crashes which resulted in 16 fatalities over the Labor Day weekend in Pennsylvania. PennDOT maintains data for the past ten years of traffic fatalities on its website.
Pennsylvania State Police and local police departments across the state will add their efforts in enforcing the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative through the Labor Day holiday weekend. Many of Pennsylvania’s County DUI Task Forces, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols as part of this weekend’s DUI crackdown. Funding comes from part of PennDOT’s statewide distribution of $4.6 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Pennsylvania’s per se blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08% for drivers over the age of twenty-one. A conviction for Driving Under the Influence can lead to penalties including mandatory jail time, license suspension and fines of up to $5,000. It should be noted that Pennsylvania’s DUI statute (75 Pa.C.S.A. §3802) creates a tiered system that has increased penalties based on higher BAC levels and repeat offenses. If you are arrested for and charged with a DUI offense you should contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to discuss your legal options, including first-offender programs that can significantly lessen the consequences if trial and acquittal is not a viable option.
Visit JustDrivePA for additional information on impaired driving and other traffic safety programs currently sponsored by PennDOT.