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St. Patrick’s Day is this Monday, but New York officials are expecting the celebrations to begin this weekend, which is why they will be enforcing a crackdown on drunk driving, underage drinking and distracted driving in the state.

The enhanced enforcement measures, which are set to include extra DWI patrols and sobriety checkpoints, will start tomorrow and carry on through Monday’s holiday. 

In a statement, New York State Police said they will also be focusing heavily on underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors as well as drivers who are distracted by electronic devices.

Last year, 204 arrests were made and 9,763 tickets were issued over the St. Patty’s Day weekend, the state police reported.

In order to avoid getting into trouble with the law this St. Patrick’s Day, state police advise planning a sober ride before the green beer begins to flow. Additionally, they remind drivers to put down cellphones while driving to avoid a violation that could add points to your driving record.

For New York drivers who are unlucky enough to get ticketed over the holiday, be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who may be able to help mitigate the citations.

Many New Yorkers make the mistake of pleading guilty by paying their tickets without understanding the consequences that could result. Even seemingly minor offenses such as seat belt violations can come with a hefty fine and cause your insurance rates to skyrocket.

With that said, have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Source: Mychamplainvalley, “NY to Crack Down on DWI, Distracted Driving Check Points For St. Patrick's Day Weekend,” Joe Gullo, March 13, 2014

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