Hudson Valley roadways, like many others this time of year are hustling and bustling with holiday traffic, so you may want to be aware that there will be extra law enforcement agencies on the roads in the area over the next few weeks.

It's happening again this year, and as it has for many other high traffic occasions throughout the year (Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving), the statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign to crack down on impaired driving this holiday season.

Governor Hochul announced the initiative on Tuesday afternoon as part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative designed to reduce alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. The program, sponsored by STOP-DWI also receives funding from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC).  A campaign kick-off event was held at a large mall in Syracuse with law enforcement giving shoppers the chance to experience drug and alcohol impairment with the use of specialized goggles giving the effect of alcohol and or drug use.

In addition to Governor Hochul's press regarding the campaign, an announcement went out from Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro about the initiative, which begins on Friday, December 17th, 2021, and runs through Saturday, January 1st, 2022.

The collaborative effort, which, in Dutchess County includes the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police, and municipal law enforcement agencies, will work to reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths during this high travel period.

While there will be a larger number of law enforcement agencies on Hudson Valley roadways in the coming weeks, the campaign is also designed to get people to have a plan in advance of heading out for holiday travel.  There will be highly visible and highly publicized efforts to reduce drunk and impaired driving, but the county is also encouraging residents to utilize services such as the "Have a Plan" mobile app

 

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 210 lives were lost nationwide between Christmas and New Year's Day in 2019.  This number is expected to grow this year, as both holidays are on a Saturday.  In a press release from the Governor's office, information about last year's December holiday season initiative provided the following information.

  • 70, 878 tickets issued for vehicle and traffic law violations
  • 2067 for impaired driving
  • 1605 for distracted driving
  • 475 for the move over law
  • 47,394 in other violations
  • 1,983 seatbelt violations
  • 17,354 speeding tickets

 

So, as holiday travel begins to pick up across the Hudson Valley and we see increased law enforcement on our roadways, make a plan to ensure you, and those around you, get to your destination safely.

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