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Hochul announces St. Patrick's Day weekend statewide impaired driving enforcement & education campaign


Thu, Mar 14th 2024 12:10 pm

State & local campaign to run March 15-17

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced increased patrols by New York State Police and local law enforcement to combat alcohol and drug-impaired and reckless driving as celebrations for St. Patrick's Day get underway statewide. This traffic enforcement detail will run Friday, March 15, through Sunday, March 17. It is funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.

"As an Irish New Yorker, I want to make sure we can all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely and responsibly,” Hochul said. “There is absolutely no excuse for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and if you are celebrating, plan ahead to get home safely.”

Along with increased DWI patrols and sobriety check points, drivers can expect to see law enforcement ticketing distracted drivers who are using handheld electronic devices during this enforcement period. New York State Police will also conduct checks at retail establishments targeting underage drinking and unlawful sales to minors during the campaign.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "If you’re going to celebrate, celebrate responsibly. Putting safety first can prevent tragedies caused by impaired or distracted driving. Designate a sober driver to get home safely without putting yourself or others at risk. All it takes are simple steps to help keep our roadways safe and save lives."

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven G. James said, “The New York State Police urges everyone to have a plan this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Make safety your No. 1 priority, arrange for a sober ride home, and don’t be a risk to yourself or others out on the roads. The State Police and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant in keeping our roadways safe and will have zero tolerance for impaired and reckless drivers.”

During last year's St. Patrick's Day impaired driving enforcement, law enforcement statewide arrested 959 people for DWI, issued 188 tickets for distracted driving and 21,282 tickets in total.


Number of Tickets

Impaired Driving


Distracted Driving


Move Over Law


Other Violations






Grand Total


Hochul’s team said, “Drunk driving kills more than 11,600 people each year nationwide. One person dies every 45 minutes of an alcohol-related crash, an average of 32 people a day, and every one of those deaths is preventable.

“Choosing to drive impaired can ruin or end your life or someone else's. This St. Patrick's Day, if you drink and drive, you could face jail time, the loss of your license, a higher insurance rate, and dozens of unanticipated expenses.

The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and New York State Police ask people to commit to following these steps, so they can enjoy a safe holiday without jeopardizing lives on the road:

√ Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home.

√ Before you start drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

√ If you're impaired, use a taxi or ridesharing service, 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.

√ If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement. You could save a life.

The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation's "Have a Plan" mobile app is available for Apple and Droid smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS treatment availability dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.

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