Local drivers caught under the influence increased this St. Patr - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local drivers caught under the influence increased this St. Patrick’s Day

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ALBANY, N.Y. – Arrests for drivers operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs increased this St. Patrick's Day weekend when compared to 2011 with 32 arrests and 827 traffic stops.

The Albany County STOP-DWI enforcement crackdown coincided with Saint Patrick's Day and was conducted from March 15 through March 18. Eleven municipal police agencies along with the Albany County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police participated.

The effort resulted in 32 arrests for motorists allegedly operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The enforcement period also resulted in 827 traffic stops with numerous citations being issued for a variety of violations. Police also reported that there were 51 designated drivers amongst the vehicles stopped who were transporting intoxicated individuals.

Additionally, the Albany and Colonie Police Departments investigated a total of five crashes where alcohol or drugs were listed as a contributing factor and in one of those crashes the individual was charged with a felony under Leandra's Law. The man in that case allegedly drove impaired with a two young children as passengers.

The average Blood Alcohol Content for the 32 arrests was 0.15 percent with the highest BAC being 0.26 percent, which is over three times the legal limit for DWI. This compares to similar time frames in 2011 and 2012 as follows:

2011: 1162 traffic stops, 31 individuals arrested for DWI, 0.23% High BAC

2012: 770 traffic stops, 20 individuals arrested for DWI, .0.24% High BAC

"The high arrest and crash results are very disturbing to those of us involved with the STOP-DWI program. This crackdown was an announced initiative and received a lot of attention in the media. We warned everyone and have invested a lot in educating our public on the alternative options that are available," Sheriff Craig Apple said. "It's simple, have a plan in place, use a designated driver or call a taxi, just don't get behind the wheel."

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