State police will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations get underway; this special traffic enforcement detail, which is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee begins Friday, March 17, 2023, and runs through Sunday, March 19, 2023.

Drivers can expect to encounter additional DWI patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the enforcement period. State police will also be ticketing distracted drivers who are using handheld electronic devices and will conduct checks at retail establishments targeting underage drinking and unlawful sales to minors during the campaign.

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day impaired-driving enforcement, troopers arrested 381 people for DWI, issued 754 tickets for distracted driving with a total of 26,594 tickets.

Drunken-driving kills more than 11,500 people each year in our country. One person every 45 minutes dies of an alcohol-related crash and every one of those deaths is preventable.

Choosing to drive drunk can ruin or end your life or someone else’s. This St. Patrick’s Day, if you drink and drive, you face jail time, the loss of your license, a higher insurance rate and dozens of unanticipated expenses. Charges related to impaired driving may carry fines of up to $10,000.

State police and the GTSC ask you to follow these steps to 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 GTSC and the state STOP-DWI Foundation’s “Have a Plan” mobile app is available for Apple, android and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and to program a designated-driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties and a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

By martha

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