WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- New York State Police will be out in force over the St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Troopers are set to conduct several sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols and underage drinking and sales to minors details during the weekend initiative beginning Friday, March 14, and running through Monday, March 17. State Police will also be ticketing distracted drivers using handheld electronic devices, according to a release.
“The New York State Police want everyone to have a fun St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but urge people to do it safely," said State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. "If you attend a party or event and consume alcohol, designate a driver or find alternate transportation."
Troopers made 204 DWI arrests during the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day weekend and issued 9,763 tickets, according to a report from the State Police. More than 269 people were killed by drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s Day over the years 2007-2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The State Police and NHTSA is asking residents to take the following precautions during the weekend:
- Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
- Before you start drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement. You could save a life.
- If you know people who are about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- If a friend is drunk and wants to drive, intervene and take the keys away if you have to.