DWI stops begin Friday in Albany, continue until Monday - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

DWI stops begin Friday in Albany, continue until Monday

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Police departments across Albany County have started patrols aimed at targeting St. Patrick's Day partiers who decide to get behind the wheel.

For those who choose to get behind the wheel while they're under the influence, there are police all across the county looking for you.

"Since the Stop DWI program, numbers have dropped, but were still seeing 20 to 30 arrests on these blanket patrols which is still too high," says Lt. Kerry Thompson, Albany County Stop DWI Administrator.

This weekend's Stop DWI patrol is just one of many that focus on party heavy holidays like St. Patrick's.

And for those who might spot the roadblock and try to get out of it- not so fast.

"We do typically have roving cars in the area should somebody see the checkpoint and turn around - were prepared to deal with that as well," says Lt. Thompson.

But the trend is shifting - it isn't just alcohol anymore.

The popularity of prescription medications as a way to get high is skyrocketing.

Lieutenant Todd Waldin, one of a handful of area drug recognition experts across the region, is called in after a field sobriety test leaves testers believing a driver is impaired, but not from alcohol.

He then does some tests of his own.

"We have a stethoscope and a way to take blood pressure and a magnifying glass with light on it to check for people using intravenous drugs," says Lt. Waldin. "Even if you combine the prescriptions with one or two alcohol beverages, it can have major effects and people don't understand that."

The DWI sweep begins Friday and will run through Monday - so be safe and call cabs.

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