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Bucks Task Force Plans DUI Checkpoint Friday Night on Rt. 309

September 27, 2017

Contact: Matthew D. Weintraub, 215.348.6344, mdweintraub@buckscounty.org 

                                 Fall DUI_edited

As autumn begins, the added nip in the air can make some folks take an added nip at the bar. Don’t let that happen to you, as area police will be out this weekend with more costly legal consequences for some who drink and drive.

The Bucks County DUI Task force will conduct an impaired driving checkpoint Friday night into Saturday morning along Route 309 in the Quakertown area.

The checkpoint, involving 16 officers from seven municipal departments and the Pennsylvania State Police, will operate from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the southbound lanes of 309 at the southern end of Quakertown.

Participating in the detail are officers from Bensalem, Doylestown, Newtown, Richland and Warrington Townships, the Pennridge Regional Police Department, the State Police and the Quakertown Borough Police Department, which is coordinating the checkpoint.

Anyone found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be subject to arrest.

At the task force’s last checkpoint, conducted July 7 along the Newtown Bypass, officers made six DUI arrests, one narcotics arrest, and issued two citations for underage drinking and two for traffic violations. In addition, six drivers who showed signs of impairment but were still under the legal limit were picked up at the checkpoint by a sober driver.

This Friday, consequences for drivers arrested for their first DUI could be more expensive. It will be the task force’s first checkpoint since Pennsylvania’s new interlock device law took effect in August.

The new law gives first-time DUI offenders the option of continuing to drive to work with a restricted license, but only with an installed interlock device that prevents the car from starting if the driver has been drinking. Supporters see it as a way of more effectively protecting the public while allowing offenders a better chance of keeping their jobs after being arrested.

“Drunk driving is a deadly crime that puts Pennsylvania families at risk and this legislation will help prevent people from driving drunk and endangering themselves and putting other lives at risk,” Gov. Tom Wolf said when he signed the bill last year. “We owe it to both motorists and pedestrians to keep them safe and hold people who break DUI laws accountable.”

It is, however, an expensive option for the offender. The cost of the interlock system has been estimated at about $1,200 per year, and is added to the already substantial fines associated with DUI offenses.

The devices must be used for at least a year, and are required to be installed by a mechanic approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. They already were available to repeat offenders under the old law.

The best option, District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said, is not to drink and drive at all.

“The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office is continuing its commitment to the safety of all motorists who travel our roads by supporting this DUI Task Force checkpoint on Friday,” Weintraub said. “Please don’t drink or use drugs and drive. Be responsible, and help us keep everyone safe on the roads.”

The efforts of the task force – the oldest county-wide impaired driving enforcement program in Pennsylvania – are funded largely through a continuing federal safety grant administered through PennDOT.

For more than a decade, Impaired Driving Program grants have been provided through PennDOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania 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.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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