St. Patrick's Day weekend can be a fun weekend to celebrate with whatever your plans may be...that is if you have any plans. Maybe you plan to head out to a local restaurant serving Irish delicacies or visit an establishment featuring St. Patrick's Day festivities and maybe live music.

Keep in mind that if you plan to drink as part of your St. Patrick's Day celebration, be sure to have a plan to get home safely. A designated driver is one option.

Through Sunday, March 17th, New York State Police are increasing patrols to combat drunk, impaired, and reckless driving, funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

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As you travel through the Southern Tier and the rest of the Empire State this weekend,  you may notice additional DWI patrols and several sobriety checkpoints during the enforcement period.

In addition, New York State Police will also be ticketing distracted drivers who are using handheld electronic devices and will also conduct underage drinking and unlawful sales to minors details during the campaign.

The New York State Police urges everyone to have a plan this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  Make safety your number one 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. - New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven G. James

According to the New York State Police, St. Patrick’s Day 2023 resulted in 220 people arrested for DWI, 246 tickets issued for distracted driving, and 11,648 tickets issued statewide in total.

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Violators who choose to drink and drive, could face jail time, the loss of a driver's license, a higher insurance rate, and dozens of unanticipated expenses. An impaired driving charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000.

Enjoy A Safe Holiday With These Easy Steps From The New York State Police

    • 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 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
    • 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.

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For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association's annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year's nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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