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Dutchess County Participating in Statewide STOP-DWI Halloween Weekend Crackdown Enforcement

Published: 10/27/2015

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie, NY… With Halloween just days away, law enforcement agencies across Dutchess County will participate in a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired drivers.

Thousands of young trick-or-treaters will walk along streets and roads throughout Dutchess County, while other residents will host parties with loved ones. State and local law enforcement agencies will step up enforcement to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI crackdown efforts start on Friday, October 30th and will end on Sunday, November 1st. New York State Police, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Our children are Dutchess County’s most precious residents, and they deserve an enjoyable, but more importantly, safe Halloween. If you are celebrating with friends and family this weekend, please arrange a plan to avoid driving impaired. Don’t allow bad decisions to both endanger young children and destroy your future plans and family objectives. It just isn’t worth the risk.”

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. A review of Halloween nights from 2009-13 shows 43 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involved drunk driving. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem.

The STOP-DWI Halloween Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association, with additional funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation from a grant through the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). Dutchess County STOP-DWI was awarded $119,210 to administer and coordinate the 2015-2016 campaign. Similar statewide STOP-DWI crackdown campaigns will also target Thanksgiving and the holiday season in December.

“Participation in this grant program allows us to coordinate multi-agency sobriety checkpoints and targeted saturation patrols throughout the County. The high visibility campaign helps to send a clear message to drivers that impaired driving is taken seriously and highway safety remains a priority of law enforcement,” said STOP-DWI Coordinator William Johnson.

“Every life in Dutchess County matters, and it’s important we support initiatives like this to protect as many residents as possible,” Dutchess County Legislature Majority Leader Angela Flesland said. “This time of year, we must ensure our children’s safety as they enjoy autumn’s annual rite of passage: making Halloween memories they’ll long cherish. As such, we must do everything we can to rid our roads of impaired drivers, and the Legislature’s support of this weekend’s crackdown – and others like it – proves the County’s commitment to our residents’ safety.”

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol- and drug-related fatalities, many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. In 2013, 26 percent of the fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween involved drunk drivers. Highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.