Major Jennifer Gottstine
Troop T Commander
The New York State Police will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations get underway starting this weekend. This special traffic enforcement detail, which is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), begins on Friday, March 13, and runs through Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Drivers can expect to encounter additional DWI patrols and a number of sobriety checkpoints during the enforcement period. State Police will also be ticketing districted drivers who are using handheld electronic devices, and will also conduct underage drinking and unlawful sales to minors details during the campaign.
During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day impaired driving enforcement, Troopers arrested 259 people for DWI, issued 371 tickets for distracted driving and 13,038 in total.
Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in our country. One person every 53 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. An impaired driving charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000.
The New York State Police and the GTSC 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 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 New York State STOP-DWI Foundation “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to report a suspected impaired driver.