The Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department will be among many law enforcement agencies out in force this Super Bowl weekend looking for drunken drivers.
Deputies will be using increased patrols and DWI checkpoints, handing out penalties of the legal kind to those who choose to be out driving drunk.
Sheriff Dominic Dagostino declined to detail his department’s plans, but he did give advice to those out driving this weekend.
“Be responsible,” he said. “If you’re heading to Super Bowl parties and going to be drinking, please make appropriate arrangements. Get a safe ride home and be responsible.
“It’s just not worth it,” Dagostino said of driving drunk.
Agencies around the area have announced stepped-up enforcement efforts, part of an ongoing effort to crack down on drunken driving.
This weekend, today through Monday, is the first STOP-DWI crackdown of 2013, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
In addition to those driving under the influence of alcohol, authorities will also be looking for those driving under the influence of drugs, both illegal and prescription.
In Saratoga County, police agencies have announced extra patrols for the weekend, dividing $5,000 in STOP-DWI funds for overtime. Last year’s Super Bowl weekend effort netted 10 DWI arrests in the county.
State police Troop G, which covers the Capital Region, and Troop T, which covers the Thruway, are also taking part. Last year’s Super Bowl weekend effort on the Thruway resulted in nearly 1,800 tickets and 13 DWI arrests.
Thruway Authority Executive Thomas J. Madison went with a sports reference in a statement on Troop T’s plans, and suggestions on staying safe.
“Many New Yorkers will get together with friends and family during this Super Bowl season, and we encourage all to enjoy these gatherings,” Madison said. “But remember that drinking and driving don’t mix, and always, have a designated driver in your starting lineup.”
Party-goers should designate their sober driver before the party begins. If there’s no sober driver, call a cab or a friend, or stay the night, Troop G officials said.
For party hosts, officials recommended ensuring guests have sober drivers and keeping cab company phone numbers on hand. Hosts can be held liable if someone they served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
Troop G also recommended hosting the party using stadium rules: Stop serving alcohol after the third quarter.