Pennsylvania is serious about keeping highways safe over the Fourth of July holiday. So, the warning that comes via a slogan is direct: "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."
That might seem a little brusk, but the injuries or deaths that may come as a result of driving under the influence are serious business, state officials say.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported 897 motor vehicle accidents and 14 fatalities for the period July 1-4, considered the Independence Day travel period for 2011. Of those, 146 crashes and six fatalities were alcohol related. This year's holiday period will be considered July 4-8.
"Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts your life and the lives of those around you in danger," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. "Designate a driver ahead of time or arrange for a ride home -- just don't drive unless you're sober."
As part of the crackdown, , the state's DUI Task Forces and local police will team to conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. Funding comes from the statewide distribution of $4.2 million in federal funding.
The penalties? Fines can range from $500 to $5,000, and offenses may draw jail time and or license suspension. As a reminder, the legal blood-alcohol limit in Pennsylvania is 0.08 percent for a driver 21 and older. The limit is 0.02 percent for underage drivers.