Motorists in Putnam County have been warned to exercise extra caution this weekend while celebrating Memorial Day Weekend.
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith and Kent Police Chief Alex Divernieri have announced that both departments will be coordinating increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the weekend as they attempt to prevent drunk driving during the Memorial Day holiday.
According to police, the extra deputies and officers will be deployed beginning on Friday, May 26, extending through Monday. The stepped-up patrols are “the largest action in ongoing efforts aimed at deterring intoxicated or impaired driving and is part of a statewide STOP-DWI crackdown effort.”
“Historically, holiday festivities usually gives rise to increased incidents of impaired driving and drinking related crashes, resulting in injuries and deaths on New York roadways,” police noted. “In an effort to deter DWI offenses around holidays, the New York State Police, County Sheriffs, and local law enforcement agencies across the state go on heightened alert looking for impaired drivers with increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints.”
Police said that research has shown that high-visibility DWI enforcement can reduce fatalities caused by drunken driving by as much as 20 percent.
“Memorial Day marks the official start of summer, the season for trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, Holy Communion parties and weddings, and other festive gatherings,” Divernieri said, “But, these activities can all too often result in some people overindulging in alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a car.”
Smith said that the advanced announcement of the beefed-up patrols and anti-drunk driving efforts is aimed at discouraging drunk driving altogether.
“We want to urge those who will be celebrating the holiday to make arrangements for getting home safely from parties, such as using taxis or designated drivers.”