Just prior to the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Pennsylvania State Police released their annual report outlining the number of arrests made for driving under the influence.
The figures were released on August 29, 2018 by state police, who said that troopers made 19,963 total DUI arrests in 2017. The 2017 stats reflect a 1 percent increase from the 19,518 DUI arrests made in 2016.
In Pennsylvania, a driver may be arrested for DUI if they are impaired by any substance, including alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medication, and illicit drugs. While alcohol is most commonly associated with driving under the influence, 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 631 drug influence evaluations in 2017.
“Driving under the influence – regardless of the method of impairment – is a serious crime that puts the lives of drivers, passengers, and first responders at risk every day,” said Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, Acting Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “The consequences of a DUI conviction are long-lasting, and the results of a DUI-related crash can be devastating.
Troopers investigated 5,180 DUI-related crashes in 2017, up from 4,520 the previous year. These statistics cover only those arrests and crashes investigated by PSP and do not include information from other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania.
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.