Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign kicks off today

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 9:01 PM EDT
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Johnson City (WBNG) - May 26 marks the kick-off to the holiday weekend and the unofficial start to summer. With Memorial Day upon us, it marks one of the busiest travel times of the year. With the influx of traffic, that means greater chances to encounter impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, when it comes to driving a vehicle while impaired, “a first-time offense can cost the driver upwards of $10,000 in fines and legal fees.”

As we know, other life-altering events can result, such as death of the impaired driver, passengers of the impaired driver, or a law-abiding driver at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“The statistics show that we’ve done a lot to drive down drinking and driving related fatalities, but they do still happen,” said Chief Brent Dodge with the Johnson City Police Department.

To educate and encourage a plan, the statewide STOP-DWI Memorial Day Weekend High Visibility Campaign is back from May 26 and ends Tuesday, May 30.

It’s a collaborative effort with state police, local police, and county sheriffs to enforce safe driving with similar efforts. Chief Dodge mentioned why this is a visible, prewarned campaign.

“Us bringing attention to this and the media bringing attention makes people think twice about the decisions they’re going to make,” said Chief Dodge. “People get angry about it to some extent, but it’s undeniable that the statistics show that these initiatives save lives.”

Chief Dodge said to plan ahead to prevent a potentially fatal situation. He advised having a designated driver, having a rideshare phone application, or have plans to stay overnight after drinking.

Other holidays with the crackdown include July 4, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the holiday season, Super Bowl weekend, and St. Patrick’s Day.

As you navigate this holiday weekend or future holidays, the New York State Governors Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation have set up the “Have a Plan” mobile app. It’s a tool for locating and calling a taxi service, programming a designated driver list, and a general education resource.

To learn more, visit this website.