An enforcement campaign conducted by police agencies across New York State is underway and you can expect to see additional patrols and checkpoints specifically looking for intoxicated drivers.

The STOP DWI Labor Day Campaign kicked off on Friday and continues through September 5 and the Oneida County Sheriff's Office is among many police agencies participating.

Available statistics are alarming when you consider the full impact of preventable deaths. In 2020, more than 11,500 people were killed in in the United States in traffic incidents involving a driver impaired by alcohol. Not total accidents - there were 11,654 fatalities in such accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

And, that was 2020 - when we were all stuck in our homes afraid of COVID-19. But still, on average, one person died every 45 minutes in a motor vehicle crash involving an alcohol impaired operator, stats show.

In announcing participation in the enforcement campaign, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol said you can still have fun, but make sure you have a plan that doesn't include drinking and driving:

“With beautiful weather continuing, along with record turnouts at events and celebrations, this should be a time for friends and families to enjoy the final days of summer,” Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said. “Drinking and driving puts everyone at risk and if you plan on drinking, please make sure that you ‘Have a Plan.’”

The STOP DWI Labor Day campaign is one of many held statewide each year, including enhanced enforcement campaigns around St. Patrick's Day, Super Bowl, Memorial Day, and Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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