Victory for the Utica Comets and STOP DWI New York

Victory for the Utica Comets and STOP DWI New York

Some people use the term “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drunksgiving” to describe the day before Thanksgiving as it has become one of the largest drinking nights of the year. As a result DUIs and DWIs continue to be of concern to many.

The Utica Comets hosted the Laval Rockets at home in the Adirondack Bank Stadium on the night before Thanksgiving. STOP DWI programs from Madison, Oneida, and Herkimer County were represented to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.  Fans experienced different events throughout the night to get them thinking about their plan to get home safely.

The first 350 people through the gate were given a stress hockey puck with the STOP DWI logo, provided by Madison County STOP DWI. As fans walked through the foyer, an educational table was set up where fans could enter to win a jersey by answering a question regarding driving under the influence.

Madison County STOP DWI Prevention Education Specialist, Jennifer Cottet, and Oneida County STOP DWI Coordinator, Tom Giruzzi, facilitated the questions and provided handouts such as stadium cups, koozies, pens, and flash lights to remind the fans of sober driving. Alongside them was a driving simulator regarding driving while intoxicated provided by Alliance where virtual reality gave people the opportunity to see their ability while impaired.

Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood, Herkimer County Legislator Jim Bono, and Oneida County Probation Director Dave Tomidy escorted Mr. Dalton Buss to the ice for the puck drop in honor of his brother Kane Buss. Kane Buss, a 2013 graduate of Oneida High School, was killed by a drunk driver in January 2015. Buss was an aspiring law enforcement student.

Dalton was accompanied by Mike and Claudette Buss along with his fiancé, Morgan Simmons they watched him drop the puck. The four of them were given the opportunity to ride the Zamboni in honor of Kane.

Fans saw various PSAs throughout the night featuring the Sheriffs from Madison and Oneida County, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and Utica Police Chief regarding drinking while driving. There was also a puck shoot where participants were asked to wear beer goggles and shoot into the net. Participants struggled and realized how alcohol can truly impair their ability.

Comets took the night home with a 3-2 win over Laval Rockets. Madison County STOP DWI Coordinator Sergeant Matt White, said “I want to remind everyone to not drink and drive and get a safe ride home”. Have A Plan and be safe this weekend.

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