BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office is participating in the statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign beginning July 1 and running through July 5. The campaign aims to further reduce drunk and impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 11,654 people were killed in car crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2020. That same year, 493 people died in traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period. About 201 of those fatalities involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

“Everyone deserves to have a safe, enjoyable Fourth of July,” said Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo. “Not only will our Sheriff’s Deputies be actively engaging in STOP-DWI efforts leading up to and following Independence Day, but we’re also partnering with NHTSA to share the reminder that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. It is never okay to drink and drive — even after just a few drinks. So, plan ahead — if you’ll be drinking this Fourth of July, or any other day, arrange for a sober ride.”

The Sheriff’s Office said the Fourth of July is consistently one of the deadliest times of year on the road. From 2016 to 2020, there were 901 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the 4th of July holiday period. About 39% of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired (with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), and more than half were between the ages of 21 and 34.

The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office is urging drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver if they plan on heading out and drinking. By getting behind the wheel drunk, you’re not just putting yourself at risk, but everyone else on the road.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, you can contact the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office at (518) 885-6761, 911, or your local law enforcement office.