Drivers who take to the roads while intoxicated or impaired during the holidays in Kent will do so at an increased risk of being arrested by local law enforcement as part of a statewide effort to keep other motorists safe.

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith and Town of Kent Police Chief Alex Divernieri announced that there will be increased patrols on the local roads starting on Friday and running through Jan. 2, 2017. The increased effort is part of the STOP-DWI program which is being implemented across the state.

"Christmas and New Year's Eve are occasions for the spreading of holiday cheer," Chief Divernieri said, "but all too often those celebrations can result in some people overindulging in alcohol and then getting behind the wheel."

The Sheriff added that the announcement was made "to urge folks who will be celebrating the holidays to make arrangements for getting home safely from parties, such as using taxis or designated drivers."

While 840 deaths in December of last year were attributed drunk or impaired driving, statistics have shown that increased visibility by law enforcement to find these drivers can reduce those fatalities by close to 20 percent.

The STOP-DWI Association is involved in many programs across the state, thanks in part to funding from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and is implemented by the STOP-DWI Foundation.

As part of those efforts a new app was developed called "Have a Plan," which uses GPS technology to locate safe rides for people who should not be driving home. The app can be found here.

More From Hudson Valley Post