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St. Patrick’s Day DWI crackdown coming this weekend

Targeted enforcement details beginning Friday and running through Monday

SCHENECTADY — Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel after drinking this weekend, state and local police are warning motorists.

Police are cracking down on drunk and impaired driving this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, with targeted enforcement details beginning Friday and running through Monday.

Drivers can expect sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols and campaigns targeting underage drinking and sales to minors. 

State police also will be ticketing distracted drivers who use handheld electronic devices. 

Troopers made 243 DWI arrests and issued nearly 13,000 tickets statewide during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend last year, according to the governor’s office.

The holiday period is deadly due to the number of drunk drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 234 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes during the holiday weekend between 2013 to 2017 — including 59 in 2017 alone.

A full 75 percent of those fatalities occurred between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, according to the Governor’s Office.

Officials are encouraging revelers to plan ahead when it comes to transportation, including arranging designated drivers or utilizing taxis and ride-sharing programs.

Local police agencies last year reported a relatively quiet St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Saratoga Springs police reported a single DWI arrest. Saratoga County sheriff’s deputies reported two DWIs, while Schenectady and Albany police also reported uneventful weekends.

New York State Police’s Troop G, which covers a 10-county region from Albany County north to Warren County, reported 25 DWI arrests, joining two crashes traced to drunken driving, police said last year.

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