Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Carmel Police Chief Michael Cazzari and Kent Police Chief Alex DiVernieri report that their departments are coordinating increased patrols for drunk drivers along area roadways as the Labor Day Holiday approaches. The stepped up patrols are the latest action in ongoing efforts aimed at deterring intoxicated or impaired driving and is part of a statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown effort in effect from August 18th through September 4th.
“Labor Day marks the official end of summer and is an occasion for perhaps the final barbecue gathering or trip to the beach,” said Sheriff Smith. “Unfortunately, the holiday is also an occasion for drunk driving, and so our patrols are going to be out there in force in an effort to deter people from getting behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking,” 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. According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nationally there was an increase in DWI related highway fatalities in 2015 as compared to 2014, which ended a five-decades-long trend of decreasing fatality rates. In an effort to deter DWI offenses around the holidays, the New York State Police, County Sheriffs, and local law enforcement agencies across the state go on heightened alert looking 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 fatalities caused by drunken driving by as much as 20 percent.
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 New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the national holiday season in December.