Cops: 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over'

John Joyce
  • Center for Traffic Safety: Cops to crack down on drunken drivers over the Fourth of July weekend.
  • In addition to drivers, boaters can be charged if found to have a BAC over 0.08, officials said.

The Center for Traffic Safety and law enforcement agencies in York and Adams counties will be partnering over the upcoming holiday weekend to crack down on drunken driving.

Roving patrols and DUI checkpoints will be employed as part of the Center's Sobriety Checkpoint and Expanded DUI/Underage Drinking Enforcement Program.

Director Barbara Zortman said of the 2,909 motor vehicle crashes recorded statewide over the 2015 Fourth of July weekend, 36 of which resulted in fatalities, 429 were alcohol-related. Fifteen of the fatalities involved were a result of impaired driving.

11 arrested at DUI checkpoint in North York

"We're encouraging people to designate drivers," Zortman said.

The program is providing for a DUI checkpoint in York County and roving patrols in Adams County, Zortman said, but don't be fooled. Police departments in both counties are going to be conducting some sort of high-visibility DUI campaigns this weekend, she cautioned.

"I can guarantee you most police departments are," she said.

In this file photo, York Area Regional Police Officer Adam Cohick returns to his car after completing a traffic stop on Windsor Road Thursday, February 2, 2012. Rep. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, sponsored a measure, House Bill 220, that would make it a third-degree felony for someone to get out of their vehicle after being stopped by police. John A. Pavoncello photo

According to numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol contributed to 41 percent of the 397 preventable deaths in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July in 2014. And 113 people who died in crashes had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher, which is twice the legal limit.

Boaters: In addition to drunken drivers, boaters, too, can be charged for operating under the influence. Law enforcement agencies will be partnering with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to crack down on BUIs — boating under the influence — over the holiday as well.  According to the commission's data, BUI arrests nearly doubled between 2009 (54) and 2013 (90).

Whether on the road or on the water, the best course of action is to plan ahead, Zortman said.

"There is no reason for it today with all the technology we have. We have Uber, we have these apps you can download," Zortman said. "You don't want the person that is the least drunk to drive; you want the person who has completely refrained from alcohol to drive."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's SafeRide mobile app is available for download at

— Reach John Joyce atjjoyce2@yorkdispatch.comor on Twitter at @JohnJoyceYD.