Police To Crackdown On Drunk Driving St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

ALBANY – New York State Police in combination with local law enforcement will be cracking down on drunk driving this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

The traffic enforcement started Friday morning and runs through Monday, March 18, 2019. Drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, underage drinking and sales to minors patrols during the campaign. State Police will also be issuing tickets to drivers who are using cell phones or any other electronic device while beyond the wheel. 

New York State Police acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said troopers will be out in full force and highly visible all weekend long.

“We continue to have a zero tolerance for drinking and driving,” said Corlett. “Make safety your number one priority this weekend and don’t be a risk to yourself or others on the roads.”

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend enforcement, troopers made 243 DWI arrests and issued nearly 13,000 tickets.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period is one of the deadliest holidays in terms of DWI crashes and fatalities. In 2017, 59 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the course of the holiday period.

A DWI charge can carry, jail time, the loss of your license, a higher insurance rate, and dozens of unanticipated expenses, including a maximum fine of $10,000.

New York State Police ask drivers to commit to following these steps, so they can enjoy a safe holiday without jeopardizing lives on the road.

  • 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.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation encourage motorists to download the “Have a Plan” mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. The app also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to report a suspected drunk driver.

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