Police to crackdown on drinking and driving during Christmas tra - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Police to crackdown on drinking and driving during Christmas travel


ALBANY, N.Y. - The Christmas holiday is a big travel day for many and it's also a busy time for police. 

Law enforcement agencies statewide are cracking down on drinking and drinking during the holiday travel. 

State Police also will be enforcing distracted driving laws and will be conducting sobriety checkpoints during the holidays. 

Local law enforcement agencies like the Albany County Sheriff's Office will also have increased patrol vehicles out on the road. Sheriff Craig Apple says it's not about locking people up, but really to keep the roadways safe.

"Don't make a destructive decision, have a plan," said Apple. "We want everyone to go out and have a good time and have a joyous holiday season. We don't want to be the scrooges, but we have a duty to protect the roadways and that's our goal and we are going to do that."

Deputy Sheriff Ron Messen of the Albany County Sheriff's Office took NEWS10 ABC out for a ride along Tuesday afternoon to show what they will be looking out for during the holiday travel. 

"It could be anything from their erratic driving, driving slow then fast, crossing over the lines, whether it's the fog line or the double yellow lines," said Messen.

Law enforcement will be on high alert, watching the roads and highways to prevent a tragedy from happening.

Sheriff Apple said the numbers are staggering for our area, just this year alone. At last check, police have made 1,035 DWI arrests, which number is up from last year. 

He said patrols will be on the road in full force also looking for distracted drivers as well. He said distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Messen said it is easy to spot people on their cell phones because they're too distracted to even notice the patrol car drive by. 

State Police along with local police agencies are not only cracking down on just drunk drivers during the holiday travel- but also and distracted drivers using their cellphones. News10 ABC's Jennifer Lee spent the day with the Albany County Sheriff's Office and explains what officers will be looking out for.

Before you get behind this wheel this Christmas holiday, police want to remind you of the hefty consequences that come along with drinking and driving. 

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