Heavy Police Presence Planned for St. Patrick’s Day

Madison County Sheriff’s Office news

Submitted by John Ball

(Wampsville, NY – March 2013) As St. Patrick’s Day and its associated activities approaches, Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley is urging motorists to plan a safe ride home and never get behind the wheel intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs.

During this time period, law enforcement officials in Madison County will be on high alert, cracking down on impaired drivers as part of its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over public safety campaign.

“Drunken or impaired driving is dangerous, deadly and against the law – and it will have zero tolerance in Madison County this St. Patrick’s Day, or any other day” Riley said. “We are giving fair warning to everyone traveling in Madison County that our law enforcement officers will be out on patrol, and if you are caught driving under the influence, you will be arrested.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunken drivers during St. Patrick’s Day holidays from 2006 to 2010.

On average, every 51 minutes, a person is killed in a drunken-driving crash in the United States, and the majority of these crashes involve drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations of .15 grams per deciliter or higher, almost twice legal limit of .08 g/dL.

In Madison County, the most recent data shows that a total of 531 arrests were made during calendar year 2011 for impaired driving (alcohol and drugs – prescribed or otherwise obtained).

“Whether you are gathering with friends at the local pub or attending private party, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely, or contact your local sober ride program for a ride home,” Riley said.

Riley recommends the following easy steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

* Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;

* before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;

* if you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member;

* if you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local police; and

* remember, if you know someone who is about to drive a vehicle while impaired, take the keys and help that person make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.

John Ball is Madison County undersheriff.Ball, John

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