Law enforcement in the region of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is setting up DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day. The holiday is a time of fun and festivities, but accidents and deaths related to drunk driving have the potential to spoil the good time for everyone, according to the director of the Center for Traffic Safety in nearby York County.
Since 2014, there have been three crashes related to drunk driving over the St. Patrick's Day period in Lancaster County, none of which resulted in fatalities, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. During the same period, there were four drunk driving deaths during the St. Patrick's Day period statewide. On the national level, during the 2017 St. Patrick's Day holiday, there were a total of 59 deaths due to crashes allegedly caused by drunk driving.
Law enforcement is taking a proactive stance to prevent any further drunk driving crashes from occurring over the holiday period this year. Impaired driving enforcement begins on Friday, March 15th in Lancaster, York and Adams Counties, even though the holiday itself does not begin until 6:00 p.m. on March 16th, according to the definition from the Center for Traffic Safety. The same definition has the holiday coming to an end at 5:59 a.m. on March 18th, but it is unclear whether impairment enforcement will extend beyond that time.
As there is no available data indicating how many drunk drivers law enforcement officers in the participating counties have removed from the roads through sobriety checkpoints and holiday DUI patrols, it is not clear whether the preventative measures are commensurate with the potential threat. In any case, those accused of drunk driving may find it to their advantage to contact an attorney.