PennDOT statistics for 2013 show there were 3,267 drug-related crashes statewide, with 143 fatalities in those crashes. In 2014, there were 3,332 drug-related crashes statewide with 125 fatalities.
The same data also shows that alcohol-related crashes decreased from 11,023 in 2013 to 10,586 in 2014. Fatalities in those crashes decreased from 369 in 2013 to 360 in 2014.
Statewide police statistics show that there were 52,636 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in 2014, a decrease from 54,121 in 2013. DUI-drug arrests continue to account for a larger percentage of these arrests, with 20,691 such arrests in 2014, an increase from 18,987 in 2013.
Even though the number of people killed in drug- and alcohol-related crashes decreased last year, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said in a news release that enforcement and education efforts will be especially focused through the upcoming holiday travel period.
The legal blood-alcohol content in Pennsylvania is 0.08 for motorists over the age of 21. Driving under the influence penalties can include jail time, license suspension and fines of between $500 and $5,000.
Pennsylvania's DUI Task Forces, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement statewide will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols as part of the crackdown.
Funding comes from part of PennDOT's statewide distribution of $4.6 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.