New York State Police say they will be out in full-force this weekend to curb impaired driving during St. Patrick's weekend celebrations.

Troopers will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired, and reckless driving as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations get underway starting this weekend. This special traffic enforcement detail, which is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), begins on Friday, March 15, 2024, and runs through Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Those people driving on the roadways this weekend can expect additional DWI patrols and a number of sobriety checkpoints during the enforcement period. Impaired doesn't stop at drinking and driving. State Police will also be ticketing districted drivers who are using handheld electronic devices and will also conduct underage drinking and unlawful sales to minors details during the campaign.

“The New York State Police urges everyone to have a plan this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  Make safety your number one priority, arrange for a sober ride home, and don’t be a risk to yourself or others out on the roads," said New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven G. James. "The State Police and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant in keeping our roadways safe and will have zero tolerance for impaired and reckless drivers.”

Last Year Several Tickets Were Issued

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day impaired driving enforcement, Troopers arrested 220 people for DWI, issued 246 tickets for distracted driving and 11,648 tickets in total.

Here are the Stats

Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in our country. One person every 39 minutes dies of an alcohol related crash and every one of those deaths is preventable.

Choosing to drive drunk can ruin or end your life or someone else’s. This St. Patrick’s Day, if you drink and drive, you face jail time, the loss of your license, a higher insurance rate, and dozens of unanticipated expenses. An impaired driving charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000.

Here's what NYS Troopers recommend for those planning to celebrate this weekend:

•Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

•Before you start drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

•If you’re impaired, use a taxi or ridesharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.

•If available, use your community’s sober ride program

•Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.  Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

•If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement. You could save a life.

The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation’s “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

Top Rated Irish Bars in Central New York

Not everyone will be able to head to the Big Apple for St. Patrick's Day - if they even want to. But for those who want to grab a pint and celebrate their Irish roots with friends, here's some of the most highly-rated Irish pubs in Central New York.

Gallery Credit: Megan

The Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in New York State

Another year means another round of residents either moving to or leaving the state. While New York is seeing quite a few people flee the state, the majority of them appear to be leaving New York City.

A report from the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found NYC's population shrank by 5 percent since 2021.

The report also found that some of those city-dwellers relocated to towns just outside the Big Apple, which seems to be backed up by the latest Census data. In fact, 9 of the 10 cities with the fastest growing populations are within driving distance to NYC.

Gallery Credit: Megan

Legendary Upstate New York Bar For Sale

If you've ever celebrated a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Utica, you've likely threw back a few at Griffin's Pub in Downtown Utica. Now, the legendary watering hole is up for sale and you can take the opportunity to bring it in to the next generation of ownership.

Gallery Credit: Andrew Derminio