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New York campaign encourages sober drivers

It is always good to remind people not to drink and drive. And it's best to relay that message before someone is stopped and charged with DWI. New York is doing just that, with the "Tie One On For Safety" campaign. The state's Thruway Authority toll collectors are working with Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and handing out red ribbons for a day. The ribbons commemorate MADD's annual campaign.

The plan is to distribute the ribbons at the Thruway Travel Plaza and at Thruway exists. The Thruway Authority boasts the safety of the highway and believes this campaign will only strengthen the safety record.

MADD decided on foot-long red ribbons back in 1986 and hope that drivers display the ribbons on their cars to raise awareness for their cause. The ribbons also indicate the importance of drivers taking the MADD pledge to drive safely and soberly.

The second part of the campaign involves the Thruway Authority, which will display the MADD "Drive Safe and Sober" message throughout the roadways till the new year.

Finally, New York State Police will be patrolling the roads throughout the holiday period and hosting checkpoints at undisclosed locations. These checkpoints have the potential to stop impaired drivers.

Anyone who is stopped and charged at one of these checkpoints should speak with an attorney. The consequences of a DWI can be life changing both financially and personally. Although well intentioned, officers on patrol must follow certain protocol when it comes to issuing DWIs. Drivers have rights and if these rights are violated, then the implication of a drunk driving charge may be reduced or the charges may be dismissed entirely.

Source: Utica Observer Dispatch, "Anti-DWI initiative under way on state Thruway," Dec. 28, 2012

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