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Fewer People Are Dying from Alcohol-Related Crashes in Pennsylvania

Car of road accident

Recently released statistics show that the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign organized by the Pennsylvania State Police appears to be doing its job. The calendar year 2016 saw the fewest people killed in alcohol-related auto accidents in about two decades.

According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 297 people killed in accidents involving a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist who was over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08 percent. This was the lowest figure since at least 1997, the first year for which there are online PennDOT records of alcohol-related crashes.

State police have been working hard to crack down on drunk drivers ever since alcohol-related fatalities peaked at 602 in 2002. The numbers in Pennsylvania have trended downward since that time. On a national level, alcohol-related deaths have plateaued between 10,350 and 9,850, after peaking at 13,491 in 2006.

Tougher enforcement pays dividends

In addition to the state police’s drunk driving prevention campaign, the state government has implemented new measures to reduce the number of people getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. For example, as of May 2016, motorists convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) with a BAC of .10 percent or more must use an ignition interlock device for at least one year.

Other organizations, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, have increased their activism throughout the state, working to spread awareness and education about the risks of drunk driving.

DUI homicide in Pennsylvania is a second-degree felony, punishable by a minimum of three and a maximum of 10 years in jail, along with up to $25,000 in fines. For more information on the state’s laws and what to do if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, contact an experienced Ambridge, Beaver County DUI defense lawyer with Bowers & Fawcett, LLC.

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