Police News

Pennsylvania State Police will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint sometime this week to deter driving under the influence (DUI) infractions in conjunction with the upcoming holiday weekend. 

The DUI enforcement is scheduled to take place in Erie County sometime between Monday, Aug. 31, and Tuesday, Sept. 7. 

Pennsylvania State Police in Erie would like to remind the public about the dangers of driving while impaired on alcohol or drugs. 

"This problem continues to persist, causing needless deaths every year. We would like to tell everyone that if you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver. We would like to also caution about the use of legal and illegal drugs; even the use of prescriptions drugs can also render an operator incapable of safe vehicle operation," PSP Erie stated in a news release. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is also reminding motorists to travel responsibly ahead of the Labor Day holiday.

“Crashes involving DUI are entirely preventable,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “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 2019 Labor Day holiday enforcement period, state troopers made 610 DUI arrests and investigated 45 crashes in which alcohol was a factor. 

In 2019, according to PennDOT data, there were 2,995 crashes resulting in 46 fatalities statewide over the holiday week beginning Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. and running through Sept. 8. Of the total fatalities, 19 were alcohol-related and three were drug-related.

PennDOT encourages motorists to always plan ahead by either designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation. 

On Monday PennDOT began sharing short video messages about the dangers of driving impaired on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and will continued to do so through Friday. 

The videos feature the following people and topics:

• Municipal Officer Sgt. Todd Lindsay, of Silver Spring Township in Cumberland County, will share his experiences as a Drug Recognition Expert, one of about 225 specially trained officers who look for impaired drivers and assist in DUI investigations when drug-impaired driving is suspected.

• Amy Bollinger, a trauma nurse at Penn State Health, will share stories of life-altering injuries she’s witnessed firsthand that were caused when someone chose to drive impaired.

• Liz Ellis will explain how her life was changed forever when she chose to drive impaired.

• Perry County Coroner Robert Ressler will share the most difficult part of his job.

“Wherever you travel this holiday weekend, please slow down and buckle up,” said Col. Robert Evanchick, PSP commissioner. “Travelers will notice a visible state police presence on the roads, with troopers taking a zero-tolerance approach toward impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving; as well as speeding.”

To learn more about PennDOT’s efforts to prevent impaired driving or other safety initiatives, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.


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