Officials from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Penn Highlands Healthcare, Clearfield Campus urged motorists not to drive under the influence and encouraged designated driving ahead of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend.

A mocktail party was held Wednesday at Penn Highlands, Clearfield to demonstrate why residents should not drive impaired.

“We are very excited to be hosting this event,” said Penn Highlands Clearfield President Rhonda Halstead, adding, “We see the results of impaired and distracted driving in our emergency department and the devastation it brings to families. Events like this are very important as reminders to keep safe.”

“It is fabulous that PennDOT chose us to partner with on this opportunity to educate the public to issues surrounding impaired driving and its impact on individuals and the community. Penn Highlands Clearfield wants to be in the forefront of making sure the community is safe and the goal of eliminating fatal crashes,” said Penn Highlands Clearfield Chief of Nursing Debra Thomas.

In addition to sampling a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, a punch made with fruit juices, ginger ale, ice cream and sherbet, those attending the event were encouraged to try activities that demonstrated various types of compromised driving including the impaired driving simulator and wear impairment simulation goggles.

Additionally, PennDOT personnel distributed DUI information and promoted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide smartphone application. The app gives users the option of choosing from a list of available taxi services, calling a preprogrammed contact or selecting a map of their current location.

They were also able to use various props to enhance a photograph taken of themselves.

“We are hoping that visitors would take a selfie using some of the things we have here today and post it to their social media sites with the hashtag “Celebrate Safe” PennDOT Safety Press Officer Tim Nebgen said.

According to information provided at the mocktail party, there were 69 crashes in Clearfield County in 2017, the most current statistics available. Impaired driving indicates police suspected the vehicle’s driver of using alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle.

For more information on the dangers and consequences of impaired driving safety, visit www.penndot.gov/safety and https://padui.org/

For regional traffic updates, follow www.twitter.com/511PAStateCOLL.

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