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 holiday season. The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign effort starts on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 and concludes on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.
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.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 210 lives were lost nationwide in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the Christmas to New Year’s Day holiday period in 2019. The number of impaired drivers on Christmas and New Year’s Day is expected to increase this year, as both holidays fall on a Saturday.
County Executive Molinaro said, “As we celebrate this most joyous time of year, motorists have duty to ensure we all arrive safely to and from our holiday celebrations. If you include alcohol in your festivities, please arrange ahead of time for a safe ride home. The brave men and women of law enforcement rid our roadways of dangerous drivers year-round – the holidays are no exception – and we thank them for their dedicated service. Dutchess County does not tolerate impaired drivers who endanger the lives of those with whom they share the road.”
The Holiday Season 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 Thanksgiving.
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said, “Stopping impaired driving remains a top priority for local law enforcement, and Dutchess County thanks our local law enforcement agencies for their diligence in protecting all motorists. If you choose to drink and drive during the holidays, local police will find and arrest you – it’s that simple.”
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.