The Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Association is partnering with the Pennsylvania State Police and numerous municipal DUI task forces across the state in support of Operation Safe Holiday.
Law Enforcement will be out over the Thanksgiving holiday period, enforcing driving under the influence laws, (DUI).
Thanksgiving is considered a family holiday and begins the traditional holiday season which continues through New Year's Day for many people.
It is also one of the deadliest times on our roadways because of impaired drivers.
According to PennDOT's 2013 Crash Facts and Statistic's book, Thanksgiving ranks highest for DUI crashes of all major holiday periods.
The Thanksgiving enforcement operations in several areas of Pennsylvania are also symbolically being dedicated in memory of PA State Trooper Cpl. Bryan Dickson II. Cpl. Dickson had a passion and dedication in his role to remove impaired drivers from our roadways.
He was a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and a two time recipient of the PA DUI Association Top Gun Award.
"Honoring law enforcement with our Top Gun Award each year is our way of thanking them for the lives saved with their efforts in removing impaired drivers,” said C. Stephen Erni, Executive Director of the PA DUI Association.
“Cpl. Dickson was not only a Top Gun winner twice but a drug recognition expert in the field of DUI enforcement.
“He will be sadly missed, along with his obvious desire to protect people from careless and reckless impaired drivers.”
Under the Pennsylvania DUI Law, fines for arrest and conviction for DUI range from $300.00 to as much as $10,000 depending on the number of times a driver has been arrested and their blood alcohol level at the time of arrest.
Minors are charged at the High Rate of impairment level resulting in a fine ranging from $500.00 to $5,000.00 and a one year driver license suspension for the first offense.
Those drivers arrested under the influence of controlled substances (DUI Drug Impairment) are charged at the highest rate of impairment levels, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for multiple offenses.
A convicted driver's penalties and fines are based on the number of offenses and their B.A.C. (blood alcohol concentration) at time of arrest.
With two or more offenses, Ignition Interlock devices are also mandatory to be installed on all vehicles registered in the convicted driver's name.
Getting a DUI is not only costly; it causes family embarrassment, unnecessary burdens on family and friends for transportation, and possible loss of employment or change in career.
With that knowledge in mind, the PA DUI Association reminds all drivers of legal drinking age; if you will be consuming alcoholic beverages at a family gathering or holiday party never get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.
Make arrangements in advance, plan to stay over or have a designated driver.
Operation Safe Holiday begins Nov. 21 through New Year's Day 2015. Law enforcement will be patrolling for impaired drivers and seat belt use is always your best defense in a crash.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, holiday season from the PA DUI Association.