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Stay Independent -- Don't Get Locked Up for July 4! Bucks Police Mark Holiday Weekend with Bensalem DUI Patrol

June 29, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Matt Weintraub: 215.340.8159, mdweintraub@buckscounty.org


Six municipal departments and State Police will team up July 2 on three main roads

Our Founding Fathers declared certain “unalienable rights” when they signed the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Driving under the influence will never be counted among them.

To help protect the lives and happiness of others, officers from six municipal departments in Bucks County, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, will be revoking the liberty of any drug- or alcohol-impaired drivers during a DUI patrol this weekend on several main roads in Bensalem Township.

From 10 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, nine officers from Bensalem, Middletown, New Britain, Upper Southampton, Warrington and Warwick Townships, and the state police will focus on Street Road, Lincoln Highway and Bristol Pike in Bensalem. All drivers found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested.

Summer holiday weekends have proven to be especially hazardous in Pennsylvania in recent years, with too much revelry mixing with the traditional backyard barbecues and trips to parks, lakes and beaches.

Independence Day tied with Memorial Day as the second-deadliest holiday weekend in Pennsylvania in 2014, exceeded only by Labor Day. Seven Pennsylvanians died in 153 crashes over the July 4 weekend two years ago, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In many cases, alcohol was responsible for adding to the death toll. Alcohol use was involved in just 13 percent of all Pennsylvania holiday crashes in 2014, yet alcohol-related crashes accounted for 41 percent of those who were killed.

Bucks County was one of six counties in Pennsylvania that had 12 or more alcohol-related traffic deaths for all of 2014.

Nationally in 2014, 164 people were killed over the July 4 holiday weekend in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A majority of those deaths occurred in crashes involving at least one driver with a BAC of .15, nearly twice the legal limit. And the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers in fatal crashes was more than three times higher at night than during the day.

Malcolm P. Friend, program manager for the Pennsylvania state office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, strongly urged anyone planning to imbibe this weekend to plan ahead by arranging for a non-drinking designated driver, or by using taxis, Uber or public transportation.

The Bensalem patrol is the fifth in a year-long series of enforcement actions undertaken by a county-wide DUI task force. The task force has conducted roving DUI patrols on Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve and Memorial Day weekend, as well as a DUI checkpoint in Newtown Township on St. Patrick’s Day.

Although the emphasis is always on prevention, arrests have occurred during each enforcement action. During the Memorial Day weekend patrol, two drivers were arrested and charged with DUI. Police contacted 75 vehicles during the five-hour patrol, issuing 62 warnings and 11 traffic citations in addition to the DUI arrests.

The efforts of the Bucks County task force are funded largely through a continuing federal safety grant administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Because impaired driving is a year-round concern, the task force plans additional roving DUI patrols and checkpoints later this year. These will be announced as the dates approach.

Bucks County is proud to host the oldest and largest countywide impaired-driving enforcement program in Pennsylvania. For more than a decade, Impaired Driving Program grants have been provided through PennDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in cooperation with the PA DUI Association. The grants help pay for salary reimbursement for officers who participate in the program, as well as for equipment used in DUI enforcement.

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Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
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