As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith is urging motorists to plan a safe ride home from holiday festivities and not to get behind the wheel after drinking. The Sheriff reports that sheriff’s deputies on patrol will be on high alert on the holiday, cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the statewide law enforcement STOP DWI initiative. The usual number of sheriff’s patrols will be increased on the holiday, with attention focused on spotting and arresting intoxicated drivers.
“Drunk driving threatens the life and safety of every person on our streets and roads and law enforcement has zero-tolerance for drunk driving in Putnam County,” said Sheriff Smith. “On St. Patrick’s Day, we encourage the proper commemoration of St. Patrick, the display of pride of heritage by people of Irish descent, and the recognition of the tremendous contributions made to our country by Irish immigrants,” the Sheriff said, “but revelers must celebrate responsibly and that includes not driving if they have been drinking.”
“Whether folks are gathering with friends at a local pub or at someone’s home, or travelling to Manhattan for the parade, if alcohol is part of their festivities, they must plan ahead to make sure they have safe transportation home,” said the Sheriff.
The Sheriff recommends the following steps to help ensure a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call the police.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, be a true friend by taking the keys and helping that person make alternative and safe transportation arrangements.
Statistics recently published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that, on average, about every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash in the United States. A majority of those crashes involve drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations of almost twice the legal limit of .08 percent.