PennDOT, D.A. Announce July 4th DUI Blitz

Published Jun 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm (Updated Jun 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm)

There were 256 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities across Pennsylvania last year during the week of Independence Day. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., PennDOT and the DUI Association are announcing they've already started increasing DUI patrols across the county since June 23.

“The (July 4th) weekend is one of the busiest traffic weekends of the year. We have 119 police departments. They are being augmented...so there will be a lot of (officers) on the highways,” Zappala said. To draw drivers' attention, representatives had the Keystone Young Marines place 1,109 small American flags in the roundabout on Corrigan Drive in South Park. Each flag represents one of the alcohol-related accidents in 2013. Nineteen of the crashes were fatal.

“We hope that as motorists pass through here in South Park and see all of these flags that they think twice about driving impaired this fourth of July.” Juliann Sheldon, PennDOT press officer said. She said the flags will remain in place through July 4. “A DUI arrest can cost $10,000 and your license...and that's not including the embarrassment to your family, or the pain caused to others,” DUI Association law enforcement liason Cathy Tress said.

“It's not just your family we're protecting, it's someone else's family,” Zappala said.

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