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Police planning Stop DWI crackdown effort around July 4 holiday

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CANTON - St. Lawrence County STOP-DWI has announced St. Lawrence County police agencies will participate in a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving.

The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on July 3 and will end on July 8. Fourth of July Weekend is historically a deadly period for impaired driving. New York State Police, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Gouverneur Police Department, Norfolk Police Department, Ogdensburg Police Department, Potsdam Police Department and Canton Police Department as well as local law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force in this effort to reduce the number of alcohol/drug-related traffic injuries and deaths.

The STOP-DWI Fourth of July Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives. The funding for this 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. During this time period, law enforcement will vigorously enforce laws related to driving while impaired with special emphasis on impaired driving either by alcohol or drugs.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

A recent study conducted by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (www.itsmr.org) in Albany found that the involvement of drugs is a serious issue in fatal crashes, with one out of six fatalities (16%) being drug-related. The number of drivers ticketed for drug-impaired driving rose 20 percent between 2007 and 2011, while the number of drivers ticketed for alcohol-impaired driving dropped 15 percent.

“There will be no warnings,” said Michele James. “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 and surcharges as well as DMV fees.”

All drinking driving fines collected from convicted drunk drivers fund the St. Lawrence County STOP-DWI Program.

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