In PA, Very Few Holiday Crashes Involve Alcohol

Written by Gregory Monte.

The Pennsylvania State Police step-up enforcement on the roads during the following holiday seasons:

  • New Years
  • Spring Break
  • Memorial Day
  • July Fourth
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

You can see the breakdown of tickets issued by going to the “Pennsylvania Pressroom” page on the State Police Website.

When I sifted through the data from Memorial Day 2016 through Labor Day 2019, I discovered that most of the reported crashes did not involve alcohol.

Why does this matter?

Well, it matters to me because of the blow-back I received on Facebook when I posted DUI Arrests: Victimless Pre-crime? back in early November.  I discussed the controversial idea that a drunk driver might not actually commit a crime if he gets home safely (because this would mean that there was no victim).  Here is what I suggested in that post:

If you think there is no possible way that DUI can be either victimless or a type of pre-crime, consider the following words from a post on

“Just as every husband needs a wife, every child needs a parent, and every teacher needs a pupil, so every crime needs a victim. Not a potential victim or possible victim or a supposed victim, but an actual victim.”

In any case, I was genuinely surprised that, at least during holiday seasons, alcohol is not anywhere near the main cause of crashes.  Here are the results for all enforcement holidays from 2016 – 2019:

  • Total Crashes – 12,184
  • Alcohol Related Crashes – 1,057
  • Percentage of crashes involving alcohol – 9%

Alcohol wasn’t even the major cause of fatal crashes:

  • Percentage of Fatal Crashes Involving Alcohol – 28%.

If you are interested in the raw numbers which break-down crash totals by each holiday, I would be happy to send them to you by email. Or you can just go to the PA State Police website and see them for yourself.


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