Labor Day enforcement spotlights drugged driving


State and local police, plus PennDOT, are taking part in a national initiative through Labor Day to target motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"As we remind motorists to drive sober for the Labor Day holiday, we also want to raise awareness of the growing safety threat that drugged drivers present," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "While overall DUI crashes are trending downward, we're seeing a troubling increase in drug-related crashes each year."

PennDOT statistics for 2011 show there were 3,073 drug-related crashes statewide, with 116 fatalities.

That was an increase from 2005, when there were 2,073 drug-related crashes and 89 fatalities statewide.

In comparison, 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, PennDOT reported.

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