FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police announced today that troopers made 20,143 driving-under-the-influence (DUI) arrests in 2018, which reflects a 1 percent increase from the total number of DUI arrests (19,963) in 2017. In addition, troopers investigated 4,926 DUI-related crashes in 2018.
"First responders see the devastating effects of impaired driving every day," said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. "Through a combination of education and enforcement, we continue to work with our law enforcement and safety partners to address this serious issue."
In Pennsylvania, a driver is guilty of DUI if they are impaired by any substance, including alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medication, and illicit drugs. Troopers certified as drug recognition experts (DREs) receive specialized training to identify the physiological signs of impairment caused by a wide range of controlled substances. State police DREs conducted 758 drug influence evaluations in 2018.
A list of 2018 state police DUI arrest totals, DUI crash investigations, and DRE drug influence evaluations broken down by troop is available here. These figures reflect information from the Pennsylvania State Police and do not include information from other law enforcement agencies in the commonwealth.
State police community service officers regularly speak about DUI prevention and other traffic safety topics at schools, community events, and businesses. Their presentations are offered at no charge and may be requested by contacting your local state police station.
"Troopers have a zero-tolerance approach toward impaired driving but would rather prevent a DUI by educating drivers than arrest them or respond to a DUI-related crash," said Colonel Evanchick. "Every motorist has the responsibility to keep themselves and others safe by wearing their seat belt, eliminating distractions, and never driving while impaired."
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania are based on several factors, including an individual's criminal history, blood alcohol content level, and whether injuries or property damage occurred. Potential consequences include thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension, and prison time.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Trooper Brent Miller or Ryan Tarkowski, 717-783-5556
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