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PennDOT, State Police urge drivers to be safe during Fourth of July holiday

Drivers are reminded to be responsible and safe while on the road, and to use a designated driver in the event they drink
DUI checkpoint

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and State Police are urging Pennsylvania resident to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday responsibly by driving safely, using seatbelts, and enlisting a designated driver in the event they drink.

The reminder is important as Pennsylvania continues to re-open in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, PennDOT and State Police officials said Tuesday in a press release.

“While social distancing is still encouraged, when you do travel please drive safely,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, we urge Pennsylvanians to designate a sober driver and wear their seat belts throughout the coming weekend, and all year.”

According to PennDOT data, in 2019 there were 241 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in seven fatalities, from Friday, June 28 through Sunday, July 7, 2019. 

Additionally, there were 93 drug-related crashes, resulting in 11 fatalities, during last year’s Independence Day holiday driving period, PennDOT said.

Over this holiday period, the Pennsylvania State Police and local municipal agencies will conduct impaired driving enforcement details. 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.

“Troopers have zero-tolerance toward driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick. “As more Pennsylvanians begin to travel again, it is imperative to remember that the most important steps we can take to keep ourselves and our passengers safe on the road are to buckle up, slow down, and never drive while impaired or distracted.”

PennDOT encourages you to always plan ahead by either designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation. 

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

RELATED: State Police DUI arrests rose 10 percent in 2019, report says