New York State Police along with other local law enforcement agencies will be increasing their patrols as St. Patrick’s day celebrations begin.
The increased patrols are to combat drunk, impaired, and reckless driving throughout the weekend. The special traffic enforcement detail is funded through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, and runs through this Sunday.
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “A celebration can turn deadly in an instant because of an impaired or distracted driver. If you are going to be celebrating, please celebrate responsibly. Help us keep New York’s roads the safest in the nation by planning ahead. Don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. It’s a critical choice that could save a life.”
Driver’s this weekend can expect to see additional DWI patrols and sobriety checkpoints. State Police and other agencies will also be on the lookout for distracted drivers who are using handheld electronic devices and also be conducting checks at retail establishments targeting underage drinking and unlawful sales to minors.
Last year’s crackdown led to over 26,000 tickets being issued, including 381 for DWI, and 754 for distracted driving.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee offers easy steps to take to ensure a safe holiday weekend. Those include:
- Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
- Before you start drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi or ridesharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement. You could save a life.
A mobile app is also available to help those find a sober and safe way home. The “Have a Plan” app is available for free on the Apple App Store, Android Play Store, and Windows smartphones.