Press Release - 08-17-2017

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tiffany Portzer
[email protected]



State and Local Partners Remind New Yorkers to “Have a Plan” Before Going Out

 Free App Helps Prevent Drunken Driving by Connecting Users with Public Transportation, Taxi, and Ride Sharing Services

Learn More and Download App Here

Video and Sound Bites from Thursday’s Kickoff Event Available Below


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, and state, county, and local law enforcement today announced the start of a two-week long, statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement and education initiative and reminded motorists to have a plan to get home safe before enjoying a night out. Officials urged New Yorkers to download the free “Have a Plan” app made available by GTSC and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation. The app allows people to locate and call a taxi or newly-available ride share service, program a designated-driver list, and educate themselves on Blood Alcohol Content levels. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties and even enables app users to report a suspected impaired driver. The app is free and available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.


  • PHOTOS of the event are available for use on websites and in print on DMV's Flickr page.
  • B-ROLL VIDEO of today's press conference in Saratoga Springs is available on YouTube and can be downloaded in TV-quality format.
  • SOUND BITES from speakers at the press conference are available on YouTube and can be downloaded in TV-quality format.


  • Lower-third graphics for the sound bites (with times), in order:
    • Sarah Liedel / Mother of Crash Victim (:00 – 1:59)
    • Major Robert Patnaude / New York State Police (2:00 – 2:40)
    • Chuck DeWeese / GTSC Assistant Commissioner (2:41 – 3:25)

“In New York, we strive every day to reduce the number of drunken drivers on the road,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting GTSC Chair. “The ‘Have a Plan’ app is a wonderful resource that enables you to learn about the dangers and consequences of drunken driving. More importantly, it enables you and your friends to decide what you’re going to do to get home safely before you begin your celebration.”


The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign will run from August 18 to September 4. State, county and local law enforcement officers across the state will target drunken and drug-impaired driving offenses to encourage motorists to act responsibly.


“Anytime I can get the word out, bring awareness, share her story, and hopefully save a life, I’ll do it, as hard as it is,” said Sarah Liedel, who lost her 14-year-old daughter, Kari, when she was hit by a drunk driver in Milton in July 2012. “She was very vivacious, just very alive…you could kind of just feel her when she would walk into a room – you would know she was there. And when she was gone, you felt that too.”


New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Safety comes first for the New York State Police - for our troopers and the drivers and passengers we serve on New York State’s roadways. Each year there are needless tragedies and victims left behind because of the decisions made by drunk and drug-impaired drivers. Through education and enforcement, State Police are working to make New York’s roads safer by discouraging, detecting, and arresting impaired motorists.”


In 2015, more than 300 people were killed in New York State in crashes involving drugs, alcohol, or both. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, 28 percent of all fatal crashes in New York State in 2015 involved alcohol. A total of 44,501 drivers were arrested on drunk and drug-impaired driving charges that year.


Your judgment, coordination and ability to drive a vehicle change when you consume any amount of alcohol. The level of impairment depends on five conditions:


  • The amount of alcohol you drink.
  • The amount of food you eat before or while you drink alcohol.
  • The length of time you drink alcohol.
  • Your body weight.
  • Your gender.

There is no quick method to become sober. The best method is to wait until your body absorbs the alcohol.  Each of the following contains the same amount of alcohol: a 12 oz. can of beer at 5 percent alcohol, 5 oz. glass of wine at 12 percent alcohol, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor at 40 percent alcohol, and a 12 oz. wine cooler at 5 percent alcohol. Some craft beers have higher amounts of alcohol. Learn more at GTSC’s website. You can learn about the different charges an impaired driver can face and the possible penalties on DMV’s website.


“In addition to the jail time, fines and public embarrassment of a drunken driving conviction, motorists should also consider the other potential impacts. Losing your license can affect your ability to find work, your insurance costs will rise dramatically, and you may find your life permanently changed in ways you never anticipated,” Egan said. “You could also hurt or kill yourself or someone else. All of that can be prevented by simply making a plan before you go out.”