As local residents prepare for Labor Day weekend festivities, police agencies brace instead for impaired - and potentially deadly - drivers.
Joseph Gerace, Chautauqua County sheriff, announced Thursday that local police agencies will strengthen their enforcement of roads this weekend as part of the nationwide STOP-DWI Crackdown effort.
The crackdown, which was similarly conducted during the July 4 weekend and led to more than 80 arrests, will run through the holiday.
"Removing intoxicated drivers from Chautauqua County roadways is one of our top priorities," Gerace said. "If you choose to drink, don't drive. Drunk drivers not only put themselves in danger, they threaten everyone who shares the highway with them."
Agencies participating in the effort include the New York State Police and Jamestown, Ellicott, Lakewood-Busti and Fredonia police departments.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the STOP-DWI campaign has led to significant reductions in the number of alcohol and drug-related fatalities.
It is funded by the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation through a grant from the governor's Traffic Safety Committee via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.