HARRISBURG — Motorists are being urged to celebrate responsibly ahead of the Labor Day holiday by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania State Police.

The agencies are working closely with municipal departments and other safety partners across the commonwealth to participate in the national impaired driving enforcement and education initiative through Monday, September 2.

“Crashes involving DUI are entirely preventable,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “We are asking motorists to keep themselves, their passengers and other motorists safe by designating a sober driver and not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

During the 2018 Labor Day holiday enforcement period, troopers made 660 DUI arrests and investigated 80 crashes in which alcohol was a factor. According to PennDOT data, in 2018 there were 33 fatalities statewide over the long holiday weekend; 13 of those were alcohol-related and seven were drug-related.

PennDOT and PSP have partnered with Silver Spring Township Police Department, in Cumberland County; Penn State Health, a victim advocate and the Perry County Coroner’s office to share the impact of impaired driving. Ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend, PennDOT will share short video messages on Facebook and Twitter from through Friday.

Richards will remind motorists that safety is everyone’s responsibility, while Municipal Officer Sergeant Todd Lindsay, from Silver Spring Township, will share his experiences as a Drug Recognition Expert while Amy Bollinger, a trauma nurse at Penn State Health, will share stories of life-altering injuries she has witnessed first-hand that were caused by impaired driving. Liz Ellis will tell you how her life was changed forever when she chose to drive impaired and Perry County Coroner Robert Ressler will share the most difficult part of his job.

Over this holiday period, PSP and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT’s statewide annual distribution of more than $4.7 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for impaired driving enforcement.

“We can each do our part to keep the roads safe this holiday weekend by making sure to drive sober, buckle up, and minimize distractions while behind the wheel,” said Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Troopers will be out watching for aggressive and impaired drivers, so please celebrate responsibly.”