HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania State Police recently announced that troopers made 22,139 driving-under-the-influence (DUI) arrests in 2019, which reflects a 1 percent increase from the total number of DUI arrests (20,143) in 2018.

In addition, troopers investigated 4,692 DUI-related crashes in 2019, according to a press release from the state police.

“Impaired driving is a serious crime that occurs every day in Pennsylvania, often committed by people who would otherwise consider themselves to be law-abiding.” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “The PSP has a zero-tolerance approach toward DUI, whether a driver is impaired by alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, or another substance. We remain committed to working with our local law enforcement partners to keep our roadways safe through a combination of education and enforcement.”

In Pennsylvania, a driver is guilty of DUI if they are impaired by any substance. 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 1,044 drug influence evaluations in 2019.

State police community services officers regularly speak about DUI prevention and other traffic safety topics at schools, community events, and businesses. Their presentations are offered at no charge and may be requested by contacting your local state police station.

“PSP Community Services Officers staffed more than 2,300 traffic safety presentations in 2019 for a variety of audiences,” said Evanchick. “Our troopers would rather prevent DUI with age-appropriate, in-person education than arrest an impaired driver; or worse, respond to a DUI-related crash involving death or injury.”

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, license suspension, and prison time.

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