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Thursday, July 24, 2014



News

“Holiday Crackdown Program Starts in Chemung County”

ELMIRA – At a press conference today, Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli and area law enforcement officials announced Chemung County is participating in the 2012 Holiday Crackdown program, a nationwide impaired-driving program to stop impaired driving and to save lives through sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols. All law enforcement agencies in the County will be participating in this program.

Chemung County received a $16,800 grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) for increased patrols during prime periods that statistically see an increased number of drivers on the road.  The first two, of six Holiday Crackdowns, will be this evening, December 14th and again on December 21st, 2012.  The grant funding runs from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 and will include Crackdowns around other holiday periods including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, as well as the Super Bowl.

“The goal of the program is to promote public awareness during the holiday season and by utilizing sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, deter impaired driving and ensure the safety of our roadways,” said Santulli.

According to the NHTSA, every 90 seconds a person is injured in an alcohol related accident in the United States with a fatality occurring every 53 minutes.  In New York State, 362 alcohol related fatalities occurred in 2011. 

In Chemung County, there were 430 DWI arrests in 2011.  “Our goal is not to arrest drunk drivers, our goal is to prevent drivers from driving drunk in the first place,” said Colleen Grebleski, Chemung County STOP-DWI Coordinator.  “By announcing the program we hope it will encourage individuals to get a designated driver and be safe on the roads.  But be assured, if you don’t drive sober, you will get pulled over.”

The NHTSA offers these ways to prevent tragedy:
1. Plan Ahead!  If you will be drinking, have a designated driver.
2. If you are impaired, find another way home – call a taxi, family, or friend.
3. Be Responsible!  If someone you know is drinking, don’t let them drive.  If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement.

Pictured from left: Village of Horseheads Police Chief Michael Barton, City of Elmira Deputy Police Chief Robert Smallcomb, Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli, Captain Douglas Houper from the Chemung County Sheriff's Office, Chemung County Undersheriff William Schrom, Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore.

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