More people than usual are expected to be traveling St. Lawrence County roadways this Super Bowl weekend, and law enforcement will be out conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols for impaired driving.
St. Lawrence County STOP-DWI will be working Feb. 1 to 4 with New York State Police, Gouverneur Police Department, Potsdam Police Department and SUNY Potsdam Police Department in an effort to protect everyone from drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Funding for the crackdown was provided by the New York State STOP- DWI Foundation through a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“There will be no warnings,” said Michele James, St. Lawrence County STOP-DWI Coordinator. “Our message is simple—Don’t drink or drug and drive. Violators can lose their licenses; pay increased insurance rates; may have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle; and pay fines, surcharges and DMV fees. Refuse a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test and you can lose your license for a minimum of six months or possibly one year.”
Impaired driving is one of America’s most-often-committed and deadliest crimes, James said. According to St. Lawrence County STOP-DWI statistics, more than 500 arrests were made for driving under the influence in St. Lawrence County in 2012.
James advises that if you find it hard to figure out if you’ve had too many drinks to drive, don’t risk it. Impaired driving is against the law, and impairment begins with the first drink.
Nine out of 10 Americans who participate in social events where alcohol is served say they feel that people should use a designated driver. Party hosts are urged to include alcohol-free beverages and protein-rich foods, along with reminding guests to plan ahead.
All drinking driving fines collected from convicted drunk drivers fund the St. Lawrence County STOP-DWI Program.