Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today police agencies throughout Dutchess County will participate in a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving to coincide with the national Memorial Day holiday. The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign effort starts on Friday, May 28th and will end on Tuesday, June 1st.
The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and municipal law enforcement agencies will collaborate across the state and will be out in force in this coordinated effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths during this period.
Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of summer, and as more residents continue to get vaccinated, there will likely be more social gatherings throughout the area. As such, more people drive on local roads. Nationwide, Memorial Day is the second-deadliest holiday for drivers and passengers on U.S. roadways; the past two years, however, it was the deadliest holiday, as the National Safety Council estimated 343 to 420 people died on American roads in 2019.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Particularly following the past 15 months, and as COVID-19 vaccination continues to increase throughout our community, many residents are looking forward to holding gatherings this Memorial Day weekend. Dutchess County, however, will not allow impaired drivers to risk the lives of themselves or others. If you plan to drink during the holiday weekend, please plan for a safe way home, or our dedicated men and women in law enforcement will enforce the law and remove you from our roadways.”
The Memorial Day Weekend Engagement Campaign is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation with a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets 4th of July and Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and the national Holiday Season in December.
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said, “Law enforcement agencies throughout Dutchess County continue their focus on removing alcohol and drug impaired drivers from our roads through the use of multiagency enforcement efforts. The safety of motorists remains our top priority. Drivers who operated a vehicle while impaired and jeopardize others’ lives will be identified and apprehended.”
While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol- and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving. Residents can make a difference with a sober plan by downloading the “Have a Plan” mobile app.