The New York State Police from Troop K will have additional Troopers on the roads this holiday season in an effort to crack down on drunk driving.

The New York State Police will again participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, from Friday, December 12, 2014 through Thursday, January 1, 2015. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints along with more troopers on major highways during the campaign. Unmarked State Police patrol vehicles will also be on the roads.

Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Safety comes first for the New York State Police for our troopers and the drivers and passengers we serve on New York State’s roadways. We want everyone to have a happy holiday – but we also want you to have a safe one. Impaired drivers cause needless deaths and injuries. Have a plan and you could save a life – maybe even your own.”

In addition to the DWI checkpoints and patrols, Troopers will be watching for distracted or impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up and drivers violating the “Move Over Law,” which requires motorists to exercise extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped in or on the side of the road.

During last year’s campaign, State Police issued more than 38,000 tickets. More than 630 people were charged with DWIs, more than 11,000 drivers were ticketed for speeding and 1,500 drivers were caught for distracted driving.

The facts are grim: During the 2012 holiday period, 1,698 people nationwide were killed on the road, with almost a third of the fatalities related to drunk-driving. On Christmas Day that year, 26 people were killed by drunk drivers.

To keep our roads safer this holiday season, the New York State Police and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offer these tips:
Plan a safe way home before the celebrating begins;
Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
Use your community’s sober ride program;
If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement;
If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

Major Robin H. Benziger of Troop K states “The holidays are a time of celebration and fun.  Make sure your gathering has a happy ending:  if you drink, don’t drive.”