Massachusetts State Police, Local Police and MADD Urge Safer Holiday Driving
The event was part of the Commonwealth's "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" mobilization, which began Aug. 13 and runs through Sept. 3. During the mobilization, extra traffic enforcement will be conducted by the Massachusetts State Police and more than 240 local law enforcement agencies in coordination with a public education campaign, made possible by $1.15 million in federal grant funding provided through EOPSS. State Police alone are rolling an additional 210 patrols, above and beyond their regular patrols.
"We are days away from the Labor Day holiday and all the barbeques, beach outings and road trips that get squeezed into summer's waning days," said Colonel Mark. F. Delaney, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. "These days carry with them numerous opportunities to consume alcohol. We want people to enjoy themselves, but we want them, as they do so, to be smart, safe and - if they are driving - absolutely sober."
In 2006, NHTSA reported that there were 174 alcohol-related fatalities across the state. Traffic enforcement and public education efforts, like those funded during the current "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" campaign, aim to reduce that number.
Colonel Delaney said the number of drunk driving arrests made by State Police has increased steadily over the last few years. In 2005, State Police arrested 2,869 drunk drivers. In 2006, State Police made 3,860 OUI arrests, and in 2007, they made 4,879 OUI arrests. By Aug. 18 of this year, Delaney said, State Police had made 3,194 drunk driving arrests, slightly more than they had by that date last year.
"The most recent statistics show that one out of every three people knows someone that has been killed or injured by a drunk driver," said David DeIuliis, communications director of MADD's Massachusetts chapter. "We and the police share a common goal of eliminating drunk driving and appreciate these latest efforts in that fight."
For more information, go to www.mass.gov/highwaysafety.