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Labor Day weekend: Travel safely and never drive impaired


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) are reminding motorists to travel responsibly ahead of the Labor Day holiday.

“Crashes involving DUI are entirely preventable,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We are asking motorists to keep themselves, their passengers, and other motorists safe by designating a sober driver and not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

During the 2019 Labor Day holiday enforcement period, troopers made 610 DUI arrests and investigated 45 crashes in which alcohol was a factor. According to PennDOT data, in 2019 there were 2,995 crashes resulting in 46 fatalities statewide over the holiday week beginning Friday, August 30 at 6:00 PM and running through Sunday, September 8. Of the total fatalities, 19 were alcohol-related and three were drug-related.

PennDOT encourages motorists to always plan ahead by either designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation. Ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend, PennDOT will share short video messages on its FacebookInstagram, and Twitter from August 31 through September 4:

  • Municipal Officer Sergeant Todd Lindsay from Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County, will share his experiences as a Drug Recognition Expert, one of approximately 225 specially trained officers who both look for impaired drivers and assist in DUI investigations when drug-impaired driving is suspected;
  • Amy Bollinger, a trauma nurse at Penn State Health, will share stories of life-altering injuries she’s witnessed firsthand that were caused when someone chose to drive impaired;
  • Liz Ellis will explain how her life was changed forever when she chose to drive impaired; and
  • Perry County Coroner Robert Ressler will share the most difficult part of his job.

The public can join the conversation on social media by using #BeSafePA and #DriveSober.

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 7. This effort is funded through PennDOT’s statewide annual distribution of more than $4.7 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for impaired driving enforcement.

“Wherever you travel this holiday weekend, please slow down and buckle up,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Travelers will notice a visible state police presence on the roads, with troopers taking a zero-tolerance approach toward impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving; as well as speeding.”

To learn more about PennDOT’s efforts to prevent impaired driving or other safety initiatives, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov.