New York State Police and local law enforcement will conduct a special targeted enforcement detail during St. Patrick's Day weekend to deter drinking and driving.
“State Troopers will be out in force and highly visible this weekend, and as always, will have zero tolerance for drinking and driving," State Police Acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "Make safety your number one priority, plan ahead now for a sober ride home, and don’t be a risk to yourself or others who are out on the roads.”
The traffic enforcement detail, which is funded through the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, begins on Friday and runs through Monday.
Drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, underage drinking and sales to minors details during the campaign. State Police will also be ticketing distracted drivers who use handheld electronic devices.
"If your plans for St. Patrick's Day weekend include alcohol, please make the responsible decision and plan for a safe ride home,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said. “One bad decision can turn celebration into tragedy, and state and local law enforcement will be out in full force to keep our roadways safe."
During the 2018 St. Patrick's Day weekend enforcement effort, state troopers made 243 arrests for DWI and issued nearly 13,000 tickets.
The St. Patrick's Day holiday period is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the holiday period from 2013 to 2017 saw the loss of 234 lives due to drunk-driving crashes.
In 2017 alone, 59 people (37 percent of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick's Day holiday period. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, 2017, three-fourths (75%) of crash fatalities nationwide involved a drunk driver.