Safety Partners Warn Consequences of Impaired Driving Ahead of Holidays

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), AAA East Central and Allegheny County Pretrial Services, Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Health Department and Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project partnered with Magisterial District Judge Daniel Konieczka, Jr. on a statewide Operation Safe Holiday effort, highlighting the negative consequences that come with impaired driving.

“Impaired driving is not a victimless crime,” said Judge Konieczka. “Each time an impaired person gets behind the wheel, they are putting the many others on the road in danger, as well as themselves.”

Judge Konieczka hears plenty of DUI cases each year in his courtroom and sees how one person’s bad decision, can affect so many innocent people, including serious injury or death. The families of impaired driving crash victims will forever feel those affects.

The associated costs with an impaired driving arrest can vary greatly depending on several factors, including blood alcohol content, location of arrest and the number of offenses. The traffic fines alone, will range from $300-$10,000. Additional expenses may easily range from $2,000-$12,000.

Many drivers do not realize alcohol is not the only way to get a DUI. If impaired by a drug, either over-the-counter or behind-the-counter, a motorist can be cited for driving under the influence. Drugs, similarly to alcohol, can impair a person’s judgement, balance, vision and reaction time. Mixing drugs with alcohol is especially dangerous.

The safety partners urge motorists to celebrate responsibly, plan ahead with a designated driver and never get behind the wheel impaired by drugs or alcohol. Impaired driving crashes are completely preventable.