Law enforcement will increase DWI patrols this weekend

Staff Reports Posted 15 March 2019 at 11:32 am

Law enforcement will have stepped up enforcement for driving while intoxicated over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, from today through Monday.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, State Police and other agencies will have an increased law enforcement presence.

Drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, underage drinking and sales to minors details during the campaign, the State Police said, adding that troopers will also be ticketing distracted drivers who use handheld electronic devices.

“State Troopers will be out in force and highly visible this weekend, and as always, will have zero tolerance for drinking and driving,” said State Police Acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. “Make safety your number one priority, plan ahead now for a sober ride home, and don’t be a risk to yourself or others who are out on the roads.”

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2013 to 2017 saw the loss of 234 lives due to drunk-driving crashes.

In 2017 alone, 59 people (37% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, 2017, three-fourths (75%) of crash fatalities nationwide involved a drunk driver.

State Police also urge the following:

• 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.

• Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

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