Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Featured on: WNYT
Story by: Mark Mulholland
Link to coverage can be found here: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S3643033.shtml
SARATOGA SPRINGS – It’s a festive time of year.
Family reunions, Christmas gatherings and parties.
And they almost always involve alcohol.
And they sometimes involve driving after.
Law enforcement and prevention experts say they’re not opposed to people sharing in holiday cheer, but those cocktails shouldn’t be mixed with getting behind the wheel.
“If you drink and drive, you put yourselves and others at risk,” said Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan. “Even if you don’t hurt anyone, it’s going to have a huge impact on your insurance and your driving privileges. It is something everyone can avoid.”
Hogan says one of the worst parts of her job is talking to families of those killed by a drunken, drugged or distracted driver. Telling them that no prison sentence will bring their loved one back.
There’s a new campaign underway to get the harsh consequences of drunken and drugged driving on the minds of the public.
Timed to coincide with National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, Saratoga Springs-based, The Prevention Council is sharing in-your-face images through Twitter and other social media.
One shows a booking fingerprint fashioned into a reindeer and reads, “Seasons greetings from your pals at the squad.” Another graphic shows a handicapped parking space and points out “Every 48 seconds, a drunk driver makes someone eligible to park here.”
“If you do choose to go out and have a drink or designate a driver, or arrange for alternate transportation,” said Kaitlin Sicke, youth specialist with The Prevention Council. “It’s a time of year when the roads aren’t dry, so the driver needs to be.”
D.A. Hogan is also concerned about distracted driving. That’s why she makes those ticketed for driving while on the phone attend the same victim impact panels once reserved for drunken drivers.