New York State Police are ramping up efforts this week to keep alcohol related accidents on the decline especially with the holiday season in full swing. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on a local effort to crack down on drinking and driving and what law enforcement will be looking for.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "I just want people to go out and think before you drink," New York State Trooper Michael Swarthout said Monday.
It seems many are, as alcohol related motor vehicle crashes statewide have been on the decline, but that's not stopping the traffic safety officer and the rest of the New York State Police force from cracking down on drunk drivers this holiday season.
"During the holiday season, generally from Thanksgiving time through the New Year, there's an increased amount of impaired drivers on the road," Swarthout said.
Many of which result in alcohol related crashes, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles alcohol played a factor in a total of 8,873 crashes in 2009, 8,613 in 2010 and 8,461 crashes in 2011.
Many taking place during this time of the year and despite the decline, Swarthout said Santa won't be the only one watching you this holiday season.
"If you're on the road, we're doing an increased number of fixed sobriety checkpoints and saturation details throughout the area, targeting special enforcement zones."
And they're not the only ones; just this past weekend Erie County Sheriff's deputies arrested six for driving while intoxicated.
"It's going to stay on your record. It's something you have to report for employment purposes. It's no joke. It's not a simple speeding ticket."
That doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy yourself this season, police say it's okay to hit the bar, but think twice before you hit the road.
"You need to pick another alternative, have a designated driver, take public transportation, walk," Swarthout said.