DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. - Police have a clear message for Dutchess County motorists this holiday season: if you’re celebrating with alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel.
New York State Police and local police agencies will “be out in force” during the holiday season as they conduct a STOP-DWI holiday season crackdown enforcement effort, looking to cut down on the number of impaired drivers in Dutchess.
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced last week that beginning on Dec. 15, Dutchess County police agencies will participate in a statewide special enforcement effort that will last through Jan. 1.
According to officials, “the holiday season is historically a time when crashes involving alcohol increase. While many will spend this holiday season celebrating with friends and family, law enforcement officers across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.”
Police said that the impaired driver enforcement efforts have led to a “significant reduction in the number of alcohol and drug-related fatalities.” Last December, impaired drivers resulted in 781 fatalities in the nation. There have been more than 5,000 deaths in the past five years.
“As we celebrate the season and look toward the promise of a new year, please do so responsibly; even one alcoholic drink is too many for you to drive,” Molinaro said. “The decision to drive impaired can permanently alter your life, that of your friends or family, or innocent motorists with whom you share the road. We thank the tireless efforts of law enforcement officers throughout Dutchess County for maintaining the safety of our roads for all drivers.”
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson added that “it’s vital to plan for a safe ride home. If you can organize a holiday night out, or put together an outfit for a party than you can plan for a safe way home, too. No one intends to have their holiday celebrations end in tragedy. Simply don’t take the risk.”
“Christmas and New Year’s Eve are occasions for the spreading of holiday cheer,” Carmel Police Chief Michael Cazzari added. “But all too often those celebrations can result in some people overindulging in alcohol and then getting behind the wheel.” The advanced announcement of the stepped up anti-drunk driving efforts is aimed at discouraging drunk driving. “
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