March 15, 2016: Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith and Town of Carmel Police Department Chief Michael Cazzari report that their departments will be jointly coordinating increased patrols for drunk drivers along area roadways around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The announcement of the stepped up patrols is aimed at deterring intoxicated or impaired driving and is part of a statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown effort.
“Celebrating our diverse ethnic heritages is a wonderful thing that we do as Americans, and St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday for people of Irish ancestry to be sure,” said Chief Cazzari. “But all too often the festivities can result in some people drinking too much and then getting behind the wheel of a car–and that can result in tragedy,” he said.
Historically, holiday festivities usually gives rise to increased incidents of impaired driving and drinking related crashes, resulting in injuries and deaths on New York roadways. In an effort to deter DWI offenses around this St. Patrick’s Day, the New York State Police, County Sheriffs, and local law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force this weekend, on the lookout for impaired drivers with increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints.
While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug-related fatalities, too many lives are still being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible and highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving. Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
Sheriff Smith said that sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Carmel Police Department will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this St. Patrick’s Day and throughout the weekend. “We are letting people know this in advance as a deterrent to drunk driving, and to remind folks that they must drink responsibly or make appropriate plans now to either have a designated driver or use a taxi,” said the Sheriff.
The STOP-DWI Labor Day Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association and funded by local STOP-DWI programs, the STOP-DWI Foundation, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. This multi-agency partnership has allowed local programs to significantly increase their DWI enforcement and public awareness efforts. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the national holiday season in December.