HARRISBURG – State police will put a special focus on drinking and driving during the Labor Day weekend, according to Jeffrey B. Miller, state police commissioner.
“We want everyone to get home safely,” Miller said. “Stay sober if you intend to drive. If you’ve been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel.”
Miller said state police, municipal police, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other agencies are participating in a campaign with a simple message: “Drunk driving: Over the limit, under arrest.”
Miller said the department has received federal funding to provide 500 hours of overtime to each troop for driving under the influence enforcement through October.
“Troopers arrested a record 13,406 intoxicated drivers in 2005,” Miller said. “Based on results so far this year, we will exceed last year’s total in 2006.”
During the official Labor Day holiday driving period last year, 12 individuals were killed, and 353 were injured in 665 crashes investigated by state police. Miller said 65 of the 665 crashes were alcohol-related, including two of the fatal crashes. Troopers charged 226 motorists with driving under the influence during the period.
This year’s official Labor Day holiday driving period runs Sept. 1-4. Miller said state police again this year will participate in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a national program committed to traffic-crash reduction in interstate highways during holiday weekends.
“Operation C.A.R.E. is now in its 29th year of operation,” Miller said. “The program was started to deter the three key causes of highway traffic fatalities: speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.”