PennDOT, Safety Partners Urge Sober Driving through the Holiday Season

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Highway Safety Network, the PA DUI Association, the Northumberland Area Police Traffic Services Program (NAPTSP), Bloomsburg Police, Scott Township Police, Hemlock Township Police, Locust Township Police and Catawissa Police and Geisinger Medical Center highlighted enforcement activities and remind motorists to plan ahead for a safe ride home as part of Operation Safe Holiday.

Throughout the holiday enforcement period which began on November 22, 2023, and runs through New Year’s Day, law enforcement agencies across the state will conduct sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols, and regular traffic safety patrols to crack down on drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Bloomsburg Police Chief Scott Price spoke at the event.

“With the holiday season upon us, it doesn’t look like weather will be a factor this year. For those folks who are going to go out, enjoy the holidays but clearly, if you are going to drink, drink responsibly. Utilize things like ride sharing services and designated drivers. Impaired driving isn’t just alcohol but can also be a result of drugs, alcohol or inattention. We ask folks that you do not text behind the wheel. Pay attention when driving to arrive at your destination safely.”

According to PennDOT data, last year during the holiday season there were 14,342 crashes in Pennsylvania resulting in 124 fatalities and 7,268 suspected serious injuries. Of those crashes, 1,111 were alcohol related and 387 were drug related.

Shawn Noonan with the PA DUI Association shared “Every life lost as a result of impaired driving is a life that is gone too soon.” Speaking on the effects of marijuana, he added ” If you feel different, you drive different. Do not be the cause of an empty seat at someone’s holiday celebration.”

PennDOT reminds motorists that impaired driving crashes are 100 percent preventable and asks drivers to keep themselves, their families, and other motorists safe by designating a sober driver or not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.