“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Emphasizes Planning Ahead for a Safer Labor Day

The annual awareness and educational effort offer tips for preparing for a safe holiday weekend, plus a new online tool that demonstrates the various dangers of impaired driving.

DOVER, Del. (Aug. 20, 2021) — Labor Day weekend is historically one of the deadliest times of the year on roadways in Delaware and nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Labor Day weekend typically generates an increase in drunk-driving deaths. During the 2019 holiday, 451 traffic deaths occurred nationwide, with 45% of those involving a driver who had been drinking. During the 2020 Labor Day holiday weekend in Delaware, there were 76 impaired-related crashes, resulting in 46 injuries and five fatalities.

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), in partnership with NHTSA, has once again activated the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired-driving campaign with the objective of protecting people from the dangers of impaired driving as they travel on Delaware roadways. The campaign aims to transform risky driving behaviors into responsible actions that can prevent crashes, injuries, and death – as well as fines and other penalties. The campaign and mobilization launched on Wednesday, Aug. 18, and continues through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign:

  • Educates the public on impaired driving laws and the potential consequences of driving while under the influence.
  • Demonstrates the dangers of impaired driving through interactive tools — such as OHS’ new “When You Drink and Drive, You’re Not All There” Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tool.
  • Encourages people to plan ahead if they plan on drinking or hosting an event with alcohol to ensure everyone has a safe ride home.

Celebrating Success – and Maintaining it

“According to NHTSA, one person is killed approximately every 52 minutes in a drunk-driving crash, totaling more than 10,100 lives lost each year,” said Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “However, in 2019, these numbers reached their lowest percentage since 1982, the year NHTSA first began reporting alcohol data. This demonstrates that we all have the power to change and prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities. One of the greatest motivations is knowing that your responsible behavior can make a positive impact. This is why, especially during this year’s Labor Day mobilization and campaign, we are working to empower Delawareans to focus on the positive change people can make – and are making – one driver at a time.”

The combination of Labor Day weekend being the unofficial “last hurrah” of the summer season coupled with people longing to get outdoors and socialize after 18 stressful months of the COVID-19 pandemic is a recipe for potential disaster. OHS suggests Delawareans include the “Arrive Alive” strategy as part of their overall holiday planning.


OHS offers these tools and tips for planning, driving, and hosting responsibly:

  1. Designate and/or “download” your driver. Determine your preferred source for getting a safe ride to and from your destination if you decide to drink.
    • Relying on a friend: Connect with them ahead of time to ensure they don’t plan on drinking.
    • Using a rideshare service such as Uber, Lyft, or NHTSA’s SaferRide: Download the mobile app (for Android devices and iOS) to your phone before you head out to celebrate.
    • Calling a cab: Keep a list of local cab options on your phone.
  2. If you’re serving alcohol, help guests at your gathering get home safely. Party hosts can create a unique rideshare code to offer guests a sober ride home. If that is beyond your budget, make signs listing cab companies with phone numbers and a public transportation schedule to hang in your restroom, on your door, and near your drink station.
  3. Be a friend. If you see someone drinking too much and/or behaving as if they have, keep them from getting behind the wheel. Take their keys and call them a cab or arrange for a ridesharing option.
  4. Be in the “smart seat.” If you’re heading out as a driver or passenger, always buckle your seat belt before starting the vehicle. On the road, if you see a vehicle swerving, speeding, going excessively slow, or somehow indicating its driver may be under the influence, pull over immediately and call 9-1-1.
  5. Be aware of when you’re “not all there.” You can’t trust yourself when you drink. Put the keys away and grab a sober friend, call a taxi, or take public transportation home.

young man sitting in driver's seat holding a steering wheel imitating stepping on a gas pedal in an invisible car.young man sitting in driver's seat holding a steering wheel imitating stepping on a gas pedal in an invisible car.

Visit OHS’ new “When You Drink and Drive, You’re Not All There” Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tool. Use this tool, available in both English and Spanish by activating the language toggle icon, to explore impairing effects on different parts of the body and learn how critical driving skills deteriorate when a person reaches varying levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).



Impaired Driving Statistics for Delaware

Over the period of five years, from 2016 to 2020, September was the deadliest month of the year on Delaware roadways. 48% of impaired crashes occurred between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., with 58% occurring on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. In terms of age, 31% of impaired drivers were 20 to 29 years old.


Media Contacts:

AB&C, Jenn Buchman, jbuchman@abccreative.com

DOHS, Veronica Marshall, veronica.marshall@delaware.gov


delaware office of highway safety logo

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow OHS on ArriveAliveDE.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Aug. 19-25

Reminder for the week: Have a safe Labor Day weekend on Delaware waterways

Picture of the DNREC Natural Resources Police BadgeDOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Aug. 19-25 made 1,721 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 29 citations. Officers responded to 78 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On Aug. 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered hunting, fishing and boating questions, and displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer during a National Wild Turkey Federation picnic in Middletown.
  • On Aug. 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers presented information on Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police careers, safe hunting, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field at a Basic Hunter Education Course held at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized blue crabs (1), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of a undersized flounder (1), no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (1), and unlicensed fishing (4).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2).

Public Safety: Driving with a suspended license (2)*, failure to have required insurance (1)*, failure to transfer title and registration (1)*, operating a motor vehicle at an unreasonable speed (2), inattentive driving (1), disobeying command to stop in a motor vehicle (1)*, failure to use turn signal (1), and possession of heroin (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (1)*, and loitering (2).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
For the Labor Day weekend, Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters that drinking and boating don’t mix and puts themselves, their passengers, and other boaters at risk, and that boat operators found to have blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher will face charges for operating a vessel under the influence.

Other tips for recreational boaters to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend include:

  • Exercising patience and courtesy at crowded boat ramps and docks
  • Observing all Slow No Wake areas
  • Maintaining a lookout for other vessels and keeping a safe distance away
  • Making sure children 12 and younger are wearing life jackets while underway as required by law
  • Checking navigation lights and making sure to turn them on when operating at night

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, please visit Delaware Boating Safety.

To report boating violations or accidents please call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at: 302-739-4580 or 1-800-523-3336.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.

Drive Safely and Expect Heavy Traffic this Holiday Weekend

As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) advises motorists to drive safely and expect heavy traffic traveling in and through the state. Last year, there were more than 973,000 trips made through Delaware’s three toll plazas from Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4, 2017.

“Using good driving habits and obeying the rules of the road are critical any time you drive, and we want everyone traveling this weekend to enjoy the unofficial end of summer and reach their destinations safely,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

Motorists can increase their safety, and reduce the risk to others by doing the following:

• Always wear seatbelts
• Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Obey posted speed limits
• Do not drive distracted
• Do not drive aggressively

Following these five rules significantly decreases the likelihood of being involved in a crash as these are the leading cause of crashes involving serious injury or death on our roads. To date, there have been 71 crash-related fatalities on Delaware roads.

“Based on consumer confidence, steady gas prices, and the high volume of travelers we have seen this Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends, AAA expects to see more travelers on the roads this Labor Day weekend than we’ve seen in the past ten years,” added Ken Grant, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Before getting on the road, motorists can review real-time conditions by using DelDOT’s smartphone application. The DelDOT App is available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and can be downloaded free, by searching for “DelDOT” at the Apple and Google Play stores. Motorists can also listen to WTMC 1380 AM for updates on current road conditions.

Governor’s Weekly Message: Supporting our Workforce, Strengthening our Economy

Dover, DE – In his weekly message, Governor Markell emphasis the original intent of Labor Day and statewide efforts to support our workforce.

“When Congress established Labor Day as a national holiday more than 100 years ago, it marked a seminal moment in the movement to establish the rights of all workers,” said Governor Markell. “Today, we have our own responsibilities to better serve working families. Our state must prioritize initiatives like retraining for workers in shrinking fields, as well as investments in the great teachers, hands-on programs, and higher education opportunities that will prepare our next generation for success. By giving our workers the support to make the most of their talents, we’ll honor the purpose of Labor Day, and we’ll keep Delaware moving forward.”

Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/kfRlO1OPtQ8
Delaware.Gov: http://governor.delaware.gov/podcast_video.shtml
By email: Please contact our press team to subscribe to our press list
Facebook: www.facebook.com/governormarkell
Twitter: www.twitter.com/governormarkell

Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message Supporting our Workforce, Strengthening our Economy

Labor Day Traffic Enforcement Activities Net 65 DUI’s & More

Dover –  The Labor Day holiday kept Delaware law enforcement officers busy around the state with 65 DUI arrests and citing over 900 motorists for other traffic citations.  Enforcement activities included DUI checkpoints and patrols as part of Checkpoint Strikeforce, the National Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI crackdown, and Seat Belt enforcement campaigns which all ran between August 17 to September 3rd.

Officers not only arrested a combined total of 65 individuals for DUI, but also issued a total of 282 seat belt citations, 72 cell phone citations, 14 child restraint citations, apprehended a total of 28 wanted persons, seized 2 weapons, made 29 drug arrests, 3 underage drinking arrests, 3 felony arrests, and issued another 917 other traffic citations.

Four DUI checkpoints are scheduled to take place next weekend as Checkpoint Strikeforce continues.  They are scheduled as follows:

Friday September 7th –       Christiana – (NcCo DUI Task Force) – checkpoint

Smyrna- (multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint

Saturday September 8th –  Dover -(multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint

Rehoboth Beach (DSP)- checkpoint

Those convicted of a first time DUI offense in Delaware can expect to lose their driver’s license for up to three months, attend an 8-week DUI treatment class and pay nearly 4-thousand dollars in court, treatment, DMV, and lawyer’s fees.

For more information on Checkpoint Strikeforce visit www.ohs.delaware.gov and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe and Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.