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 Thanksgiving holiday. The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Enforcement Campaign effort starts on Wednesday, Nov. 24th and will end on Sunday, Nov. 28th.
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.
The Thanksgiving holiday period is among the most active on U.S. roadways, with the American Automobile Association estimating some 55 million motorists traveled for the holiday in 2019, the vast majority of whom drove to their destination. According to the National Safety Council, 29 percent of driving fatalities during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday period involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
County Executive Molinaro said, “More than any other national holiday, Thanksgiving is a chance for loved ones to gather from near and far and celebrate the togetherness that makes the American family so cherished. If you plan to include alcohol in your celebration, please do so responsibly – plan for a ride home, do not drive while impaired and endanger your life and the lives of fellow motorists. Dutchess County will not tolerate impaired driving on our roadways – not just on Thanksgiving, but year-round – and we thank the dedicated men and women of law enforcement for ridding our roads of dangerous drivers.”
The Thanksgiving Enforcement 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, Memorial Day, Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and national Holiday Season in December.
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said, “Removing impaired drivers from local roads is a top priority for law enforcement agencies throughout Dutchess County, a duty in which these agencies engage every day. Multiagency enforcement efforts, including the upcoming Thanksgiving crackdown, routinely identify alcohol- and drug-impaired motorists, leading to their apprehension and eliminating their risk to other drivers. There is no tolerance for such behavior in Dutchess County: If you drive impaired, law enforcement will find and arrest you.”
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.