Pictured, from left, are Trooper Dennis Peters, Clearfield-based state police; Lt. Todd Lombardo, Morris-Cooper Regional Police Department; Officer Elliott Neeper, Lawrence Township Police Department; Chief Vincent McGinnis, Clearfield Borough Police Department; Tony Scotto, Clearfield County commissioner and Scotto’s Pizza owner; Officer Nathan Curry, Clearfield Borough Police Department and DUI coordinator. (Provided photo)
CLEARFIELD – As part of a statewide DUI enforcement mobilization, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and local law enforcement agencies on Friday held a media event at the Clearfield County Courthouse plaza to kick off DUI enforcement operations ahead of the Super Bowl.
As part of the mobilization, which runs from Feb. 5 – 7, Scotto’s Pizza, in Clearfield, and M&M Scotto’s Pizzeria, in DuBois, will assist by handing out flyers with every order containing a DUI campaign message.
“Drunk driving affects everyone, not just the person driving,” Clearfield Borough Police Officer Nathan Curry said.
“Last year during Super Bowl weekend, there were 309 alcohol-related crashes. We’re going to be out doing heavy enforcement all over the county, with both local police departments and the state police. We want people to have a good time, but we also want people to be safe.”
Curry said the patrols will also be cracking down on seatbelt violations and other traffic safety offenses.
Clearfield County Commissioner and business owner Tony Scotto said he was glad to assist law enforcement.
“We thought it was a great idea, to include the DUI filers with our deliveries,” Scotto said. “Anything we can do to spread the word could help save lives.”
The campaign, “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” encourages the public to plan ahead, preventing them from getting behind the wheel after drinking. It stresses that driving impaired could result in injury or death to anyone on the road.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) 2014 data, 9,967 people were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired driving in the United States, translating to 31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation. Data also shows there is an increase in impaired driving on the weekends. In 2014, there were 5,447 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities on the weekend, accounting for 40 percent of all fatalities.
A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, the set limit in all states. This Feb. 7, don’t become Super Bowl impaired-driving stat. “Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Kevin Kline, District Engineer, for PennDOT District 2.
“All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive – but never do both.”
For more NHTSA Super Bowl weekend safety information, visit here.