State Police to ramp DUI enforcement for holidays

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will join with more than 10,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide to participate in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired driving enforcement campaign from Dec. 16, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2017. 

Troopers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers with high-visibility patrols and at DUI checkpoints, according to Major Edward Hoke, director of PSP’s Bureau of Patrol. The agency’s certified drug recognition experts will also be available to identify drivers who are impaired by drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.

“Drug recognition experts receive specialized training to distinguish the physiological signs of impairment caused by a wide range of controlled substances,” Major Hoke said. “Although alcohol-related crashes account for more than 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania, impaired driving enforcement covers much more than just drunk driving.”

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania vary based on several factors including an individual’s criminal history, blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and whether or not there were injuries or property damage in the event of a crash – and also includes thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension, and even prison time.

“Driving while impaired is a serious crime that puts people at risk every day.” Major Hoke said. “It is also completely preventable if people plan ahead and make arrangements to get home safely.” 

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed the SaferRide smartphone app in an effort to curb drunk driving by making it easier for users to facilitate a ride home if they have been drinking. Once the app is downloaded, it can be used to quickly pinpoint the user’s location and call a taxi or trusted friend. The app is free and available for Android and Apple devices. 

For more information about the Pennsylvania State Police, visit

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