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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper
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Drive Safely Over Labor Day Weekend – Watch For Checkpoints – Avoid Car Accidents

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How dangerous are Pennsylvania roads over a typical Labor Day weekend? Do you believe that additional DUI checkpoints are necessary to avoid car accidents and injuries?

State police will team up with local law enforcement to target motorists who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the upcoming holiday weekend.

The national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" effort will target impaired drivers and highlight the worsening problem of drugged driving now through Sept. 3, according to state Department of Transportation news release.

Pennsylvania's DUI Task Forces, state police and local law enforcement statewide will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols as part of the crackdown.

PennDOT statistics for 2011 show there were 3,073 drug-related crashes statewide, with 116 fatalities in those crashes. That's an increase from 2005, when there were 2,073 drug-related crashes and 89 fatalities in those crashes statewide.

In comparison, the same data show that alcohol-related crashes decreased from 13,350 in 2005 to 11,778 in 2011. Fatalities in those crashes decreased from 582 in 2005 to 425 in 2011, the release states.

During last year's Labor Day weekend, there were 111 alcohol-related crashes and three fatalities as well as 22 drug-related crashes.

Funding comes from part of PennDOT's statewide distribution of $4.2 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.