We all know that roadways are especially busy surrounding the holidays, with Thanksgiving travel typically noted as one of the most active on U.S. roadways.  With many people missing out on Thanksgiving last year due to COVID, imagine how busy roadways will be this year.  According to a press release from inrix.com, AAA is predicting 53.4 million people to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a 13% increase from 2020 travel.

With more people expected to be on Hudson Valley roadways this week into the weekend for the holiday, it's important to be aware of a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving.  Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced last week that the STOP-DWI High Visibility Enforcement Campaign effort will begin on Wednesday, November 24th and run through Sunday, November 28th.

This effort, a collaboration between the New York State Police, Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, and various municipal law enforcement agencies, will aim to reduce the number of alcohol related injuries and deaths on roadways.  In his press release, County Executive Molinaro explained:

More than any other national holiday, Thanksgiving is a chance for loved ones to gather from near and far and celebrate the togetherness that makes the American family so cherished. If you plan to include alcohol in your celebration, please do so responsibly – plan for a ride home, do not drive while impaired and endanger your life and the lives of fellow motorists. Dutchess County will not tolerate impaired driving on our roadways – not just on Thanksgiving, but year-round – and we thank the dedicated men and women of law enforcement for ridding our roads of dangerous drivers.

This is not the first in such efforts or initiatives to crack down on impaired driving.  The Hudson Valley has seen many holiday specific enforcement initiatives around 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, and the December holidays as well.  These have all been thanks to funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation and grant support from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. There was even an initiative this past October around Columbus Day after a special enforcement detail from the Governor's Office.

Looking back to 2019 holiday travel, 29% of fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday period involved an alcohol-impaired driver, this according to the National Safety Council.  With this in mind it's vital to have a plan ahead of time, identify a designated driver, and even utilize services like the "Have a Plan" app to ensure you get to where you are going safely.

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