Know the risk: Pa. officials urge sober driving ahead of holiday weekend

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania DUI Association gathered at the DUI Victims’ Memorial Garden to urge motorists of safe driving practices.

The garden, which was dedicated in October 2003 and is located in front of the Pennsylvania DUI Association’s headquarters in Harrisburg, honors and remembers Pennsylvanians who have been killed in impaired driving crashes. Currently, more than 2,200 people are memorialized in the garden.

With Labor Day weekend approaching, officials ask that drivers celebrate responsibility when deciding to get behind the wheel.

“We are urging motorists to ensure their safety and the safety of others on our roadways by designating a sober driver this Labor Day weekend and every time they drink,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said.

According to PennDOT data, in 2020 there were 2,698 crashes resulting in 39 fatalities statewide over the holiday week beginning Friday, September 4 at 6:00 PM and running through Sunday, September 13. Of those numbers, 231 crashes resulting in 12 fatalities were alcohol-related and 104 crashes resulting in three fatalities were drug-related.

“Travelers are reminded this holiday weekend to slow down, buckle up, and don’t drive impaired or distracted,” Captain Robert Wagner, assistant director of the Bureau of Patrol with the Pennsylvania State Police said.

Over this holiday period, the Pennsylvania State Police and local municipal agencies will conduct impaired driving enforcement details as part of a national impaired driving enforcement and education initiative running through September 6.

“Troopers are trained to look for impaired driving behaviors and consistent with our highway safety mission have a zero-tolerance approach toward driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs” Captain Wagner continued.

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