Berks Police to holiday motorists: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

The weeks leading up to the holiday season are a busy time on America’s roads. To keep drivers and their passengers safe, Berks County Police are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Help NHTSA and Law Enforcement share this message: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

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“December is a busy time on the roads. We know everyone is rushing around during the weeks leading up to the holidays, preparing for holiday gatherings and getting into the seasonal mood,” said Sergeant David Bentz, Exeter Township Police Department and Berks County Coordinator for the North Central Regional DUI Enforcement Program.

“If you plan to head out to festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home, because driving drunk should never be an option. Even one drink is one drink too many if you’re the driver. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving,” Sergeant Bentz said.

According to NHTSA, 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

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On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2016 to 2020, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020. This is why Berks County Police are working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is a matter of life and death. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. Doing so could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians, or of other drivers and passengers nearby.

If you’re the designated driver, make sure you keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. Stay hydrated with water and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Support other designated drivers, too. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.

Sergeant Bentz recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use a ride service, or call a taxi or a sober friend to get home safely.

If available, use your community’s sober ride program, UBER or LYFT

If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911.

Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

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