Law enforcement agencies across the state will send extra patrols out to crack down on drunk and drugged driving on one of the busiest holiday weekends for travel.
State Police troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints as well as speeding and seat belt enforcement details throughout the state from Saturday, July 1, through Tuesday, July 4.
Last year, troopers issued nearly 11,000 vehicle and traffic tickets during the July 4 weekend, arrested 206 people for DWI and responded to 756 crashes. There were three fatalities.
In addition to sobriety checkpoints, troopers will be on the lookout for motorists using phones and other electronic devices behind the wheel. They will use both marked vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles, which allow troopers to blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lights are activated.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2015 July 4 weekend, 146 people died in alcohol related crashes. Two-thirds of the crashes involved at least one driver with a BAC of .15 or higher, which is almost twice the legal limit.
Drinking and/or drugged driving is not only dangerous it can be costly. Those arrested for the crime face the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees as well as fines and court costs.
The average DWI arrest costs up to $10,000.
State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors over the weekend.
State Police and NHTSA recommend these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:
-Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
-Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
-If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
-Use your community’s sober ride program.
-If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
-If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.