Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced Dutchess County police agencies will participate in a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The statewide STOP-DWI crackdown efforts will start on Wednesday, March 16th and will end on Sunday, March 20th.
The New York State Police, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office 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.
County Executive Molinaro said, “St. Patrick’s Day is a day for all Americans to honor Irish heritage, providing us all a chance to celebrate Irish-Americans and their contributions to our nation. Many residents may choose to include alcohol in their celebrations, and if they do, we ask them to plan ahead for a safe ride home from their gatherings – there is absolutely no excuse for impaired driving. The dedicated men and women of law enforcement work tirelessly each day to keep local roadways safe from impaired drivers, and we thank them for their continued efforts to protect Dutchess County motorists.”
St. Patrick’s Day annually is one of the most popular drinking occasions of the year in United States, ranking behind only New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day and the Fourth of July, and it’s also one of the most hazardous days on U.S. roadways. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes nationwide in 2019. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2015 to 2019, equating to one person killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes in 2019.
The St. Patrick’s Day high visibility community 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 Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekend, Halloween, the Super Bowl and the national holiday season in December.
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.