PennDOT and Partners Promote Safe Driving and Boating for Independence Day

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KING OF PRUSSIA, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) yesterday joined forces with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Pennsylvania State Police, Ridley Township Police, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), and the Pennsylvania DUI Association to emphasize safety during the Independence Day holiday. The event, held at the Ridley Township Municipal Marina, highlighted the dangers of impaired driving and boating.

Stay Sober on the Roads and Waterways

Officials stressed the importance of remaining sober while operating vehicles or vessels. The PFBC demonstrated a mock Boating Under the Influence (BUI) stop to illustrate their enforcement efforts. From July 4 through July 6, PFBC officers will take part in Operation Dry Water, a national campaign focused on enhanced BUI enforcement. These officers are trained to detect impairment and conduct sobriety tests on the water.

The legal blood alcohol concentration limit for operating a vehicle or watercraft is .08 percent. Boaters are also reminded to wear life jackets, have a float plan, check weather forecasts, and designate a sober operator.

Sobering Statistics

According to PennDOT data from 2023, there were 929 crashes and 11 fatalities in the Philadelphia region during the Fourth of July travel period, which ran from June 24 to July 5. Among these, 66 crashes were related to impaired driving. Officials urge the public to never drive impaired and to take steps such as taking away keys from an impaired person and using rideshare apps.

PennDOT Safety Press Officer Krys Johnson advises planning ahead if you intend to drink. “Always plan how to get home before drinking,” she said. “Impairment can cloud judgment, so secure a sober driver or call a taxi or rideshare.”

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Zero Tolerance for Impaired Driving

Alcohol and drug use impair judgment and reaction time, posing significant dangers on the road and water. Trooper Jessica Tobin emphasized the zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving. “There will be no leniency,” she said. “We are highly trained to spot signs of drunk driving. Driving under the influence is illegal and endangers lives. We urge everyone to prioritize road safety during the festivities.”

This Independence Day, make responsible choices to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for all.

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