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Holiday Drunk Driving Primary Focus For Pennsylvania Police

Additional grant money provided by the state is helping Pennsylvania police officers better combat drunken driving during the holiday season, which is known as one time of year when drunk driving rates are at their highest because of holiday parties and celebrations.

Law enforcement is using a variety of methods to try to reduce the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in the state, including implementing special patrols and drunk driving checkpoints. Police are interested in curbing drug-impaired driving as well as driving affected by alcohol. The initiative is part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

The same campaign was undertaken by law enforcement last year, and the results were significant. In addition to deterring countless potential drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, police charged 62 drivers with driving while intoxicated, handed out 123 seat belt citations, made 94 felony arrests and brought 61 fugitives into custody.

Although a national problem, drunk driving has received special focus on Pennsylvania, were 152 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2011 alone. That was 24 percent of the total roadway fatalities that year.

Law enforcement is also issuing a set of suggestions to help drivers make the right decisions that prevent them from driving while intoxicated. These include taking taxis and/or mass transit to get around, or enlisting the help of a sober driver. Alternatively, individuals could spend the night at the location where they have been drinking.

Drivers in Pennsylvania can report suspected impaired driving activity by dialing #77 on their cell phone.

Source: Burlington County Times, “Police cracking down on drunken driving over the holidays,” Matt Chiappardi, Dec. 11, 2012