With the holidays just around the corner, Pennsylvania officials are reminding residents of the dangers of impaired driving.

According to a release, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania DUI Association, the Northwest Regional Highway Safety Office, and first responders held a media event to highlight these dangers.

Cathy Tress, a Regional DUI Program Administrator with the Pennsylvania DUI Association stressed how this is a special time of year meant for family and friends, but that is just takes a poor decision to drive under the influence for it to potentially end in tragedy.

“The solution is simple – plan ahead and arrange for a ride home with a sober driver,” Tress said.

The joint event was hosted by EmergyCare ambulance service in Erie and was planned in connection with the statewide “Operation Safe Holiday” campaign, which runs from Nov. 23, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023.

During this period, high-visibility enforcement efforts such as roving DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints will be conducted to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities.

From Thanksgiving Day in 2021 to New Year’s Day in 2022, there were 58 crashes involving an impaired driver in PennDOT’s District 1, which covers Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties. Of these crashes, two resulted in fatalities, the release states.

“It is unacceptable for us to continue seeing lives lost on our roadways, especially in impaired driving crashes that are 100% preventable,” said Geoffrey Crankshaw of the Northwest Regional Highway Safety Office.

For more information on impaired driving, go to PennDOT’s website.