Law enforcers plan DWI crackdown for St. Patrick’s Day weekend



Rome Sentinel Co.


State Police and local law enforcers will conduct special driving while intoxicated enforcement through Sunday to deter drunken driving during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The traffic enforcement detail, which is funded through the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, runs through Sunday. Drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols and stings targeting underage drinking and illegal sales of alcohol to minors during the campaign. State police will also ticket distracted drivers who use handheld electronic devices. During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day impaired driving enforcement, troopers arrested 381 people for driving while intoxicated, issued 754 tickets for distracted driving, and 26,594 tickets in total. Charges related to impaired driving carry fines of up to $10,000, authorities warned. Holiday safety tips: • 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. The New York State STOPDWI Foundation’s “Have a Plan” mobile application is available for Apple, Android, 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.