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PennDOT, Safety Partners Emphasize Responsible Driving, Boating Through Independence Day Holiday


Pittsburgh, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania State Police and City of Pittsburgh River Rescue held a media event urging the public to drive and boat sober throughout the Independence Day holiday period.

As motorists and boaters celebrate the Independence Day holiday, it is vital to put safety first. If drinking becomes part of the celebration, all vehicle and watercraft operators should plan ahead by designating a safe and sober driver and/or operator. Remember, a sober driver is someone who did not drink at all, not the one who drank the least. Viable options include a friend, family member, a local ride-share application, or public transportation.

The partners reminded the public alcohol consumption is not the only route to impairment. Both prescription and recreational drug use can cause a person to become impaired. While under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a person's judgment, balance, vision, reaction time, and decision-making abilities are greatly affected. Impairment creates a dangerous situation for the person behind the wheel and others on the roadway or surrounding waters.

Local and state law enforcement are collaborating during the enforcement period that will run through July 4 to target impaired drivers and boat operators. Individuals operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or over will be arrested. Waterways will also be patrolled by law enforcement ensuring boaters can operate safely.

According to PennDOT data, there were 3,286 crashes statewide during the 2021 Independence Day holiday week alone. Of those crashes, 330 were drug or alcohol-related, resulting in 26 fatalities.

Independence Day is one of the most popular travel holidays, on both the roadway and water. Practicing responsible driving and boating are crucial to reducing impaired driving crashes and fatalities, which are 100% preventable.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Yasmeen Manyisha, 412-429-5044

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