NYSP to crack down on impaired driving during St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Over 950 people arrested during crackdown last year

ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — With St. Patrick’s Day coming this Sunday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday, March 14, a crackdown on reckless driving with increased patrols by New York State Police and local law enforcement.

“As an Irish New Yorker, I want to make sure we can all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely and responsibly,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “There is absolutely no excuse for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and if you are celebrating, plan ahead to get home safely.”

During last year’s crackdown, law enforcement statewide arrested almost 1,000 people for DWI and issued almost 200 tickets for distracted driving. Almost 5,000 tickets were issued for speeding as well.

Along with increased DWI patrols and sobriety checkpoints, drivers can also expect to see law enforcement handing out more tickets for distracted driving. New York State Police will also conduct checks of retail establishments, keeping watch for underage drinking and unlawful sales of alcohol to minors.

“The New York State Police urges everyone to have a plan this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Make safety your number one priority, arrange for a sober ride home, and don’t be a risk to yourself or others out on the roads,” Acting New York State Police Superintendent Steven James said in a statement. “The State Police and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant in keeping our roadways safe and will have zero tolerance for impaired and reckless drivers.”

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and New York State Police ask you to commit to following these easy steps, so you can enjoy a safe holiday without jeopardizing lives on the road:

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home.
  • 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.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement.

If you need a designated driver, you can also use the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s “Have A Plan” mobile app. The app allows New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service, as well as program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, as well as ways to report a suspected impaired driver.

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