Alcohol-related Crashes Add to Holiday Death Toll

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 28 /PRNewswire/ — Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller today urged motorists to avoid drinking and driving during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“Alcohol is often part of picnics or parties during the summer holidays,” Miller said. “Motorists need to keep in mind that alcohol and driving never mix. Don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve been drinking, even if you plan to only drive a short distance. When you drink and drive, you put yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road at risk.”

The official Fourth of July holiday driving period runs from Friday, July 1, through Monday, July 4. Miller said a number of State Police troops will conduct sobriety checkpoints during the period.

“During last year’s four-day holiday driving period, 73 of the 738 crashes investigated by State police were alcohol-related,” Miller said. “Five of the 13 people killed in crashes during the period died as the result of alcohol- related crashes. Please don’t add to the highway death toll by drinking and driving this year.”

Miller said 337 persons were injured in crashes investigated by troopers during the 2004 Fourth of July holiday driving period. Also during that period, State Police arrested 296 motorists for driving under the influence, cited 9,256 for speeding, handed out citations to 217 for failing to wear seat belts and cited 81 for failure to properly secure children in safety seats.

Miller said troopers once again are participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a national program aimed at reducing crashes on interstate highways during holiday weekend driving periods.

As part of Operation C.A.R.E., troopers will engage in highly visible, aggressive highway-enforcement activity through the period.

“Enjoy the holiday, but make safety a priority,” Miller said.

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