Mifflin Co. DUI Task Force To Enforce Impaired Driving Over St. Patrick’s Day Holiday
Mar 10, 2021

Saint Patrick’s Day is the one day of the year when everybody is Irish; Whether people celebrate the religious aspect of the day, pay homage to their ancestry, or simply see it as the doorway to spring, St. Patrick’s Day is considered a major holiday in the United States.

Often plans include adult parties and gatherings where alcohol is served in abundance. Don’t count on the Luck O’ the Irish to get you home – plan ahead so you don’t drive impaired. National and Statewide crash statistics paint a telling picture – if you drive impaired, you are far more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than an unimpaired motorist.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 1/3 of all fatal crashes nationwide involve alcohol impaired drivers. In 2019, Pennsylvania followed the national trend. According to the 2019 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Crash Facts and Statistics, the crash data indicates 28% of all fatal crashes on Pennsylvania’s highways involved an impaired motorist even though impaired drivers only accounted for 8% of the total number of crashes.

The alcohol impaired crash statistics only provide part of the picture though; drug impaired drivers are contributing to increasing the number of crashes on Pennsylvania’s roadways. Illicit drugs or prescription medications – it does not matter. Impaired drivers cause and are involved in crashes that kill or seriously injure people – it is that simple. Executive Director for the Pennsylvania DUI Association C. Stephen Erni addressed his concerns: “St. Patrick’s Day remains a dangerous holiday when it comes to impaired drivers on the Commonwealth’s highways. There are still motorists out there who will drive impaired rather than plan and utilize alternative means of transportation. The results are preventable tragedies – crashes, serious injuries and even death. Remember, impaired is impaired – it doesn’t just have to be green beer or Irish whiskey, illicit drugs and prescription medications are just as dangerous.”

The Mifflin County DUI Task Force will be mobilizing this St. Patrick’s Day to keep our highways safe. Officers know that impaired is impaired and many are specially trained to spot impairment from illicit or prescription drugs. If you chose to drive impaired this St. Patrick’s Day, be prepared to be stopped and arrested.

The Mifflin County DUI Task Force is comprised of police officers from the Armagh Township Police Department, the Granville Township Police Department, the Lewistown Police Department and the Mifflin County Regional Police Department.

If you plan to drink, make sure you refrain from driving. Review these facts and share the word about the dangers of drunk driving so you can continue merry-making for all the St. Paddy’s Days to come.

  • St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest times on our nation’s roads. During the 2015-2019 St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 280 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes. In 2019, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in our country, and every single one of those deaths was preventable. Do your part this St. Patrick’s Day: Arrange for a sober driver to ensure you get home safely.
  • In 2019 alone, 57 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18).
  • Between the hours of midnight and 5:59 a.m. over the St. Patrick’s Day period in 2019, more than three out of five (63) crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
  • Walking home after a night out drinking alcohol? In 2019, 31 of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) at or above .08. Arrange for a sober ride or for a sober friend to walk you home.
  • Remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. It is illegal and deadly to drink and drive. For some, even one drink may be one drink too many.
  • Despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive when impaired by alcohol, in 2019, one person was killed every 52 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.

The Cost of Drunk Driving

  • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.
  • If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment.
  • Drinking and driving can cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could inhibit you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.

Celebrate with a Plan

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program [Insert your local sober ride program specifics here].
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact [Local Law Enforcement].
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

The Mifflin County DUI Task Force will conduct enforcement efforts beginning March 11 and running through March 21, 2021.

The Mifflin County DUI Task Force is comprised of police officers from the Armagh Township Police Department, the Granville Township Police Department, the Lewistown Police Department and the Mifflin County Regional Police Department.

For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

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