Police to crackdown on drinking and driving during Christmas travel

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ALBANY, N.Y. – The
Christmas holiday is a big travel day for many and it's also a busy time for
police. 

Law enforcement agencies
statewide are cracking down on drinking and drinking during the holiday
travel. 

State Police also will
be enforcing distracted driving laws and will be conducting sobriety
checkpoints during the holidays. 

Local law enforcement
agencies like the Albany County Sheriff's Office will also have increased
patrol vehicles out on the road. Sheriff Craig Apple says it's not about
locking people up, but really to keep the roadways safe.

“Don't make a
destructive decision, have a plan,” said Apple. “We want everyone to go out and
have a good time and have a joyous holiday season. We don't want to be the
scrooges, but we have a duty to protect the roadways and that's our goal and we
are going to do that.”

Deputy Sheriff Ron
Messen of the Albany County Sheriff's Office took NEWS10 ABC out for a ride
along Tuesday afternoon to show what they will be looking out for during the
holiday travel. 

“It could be anything
from their erratic driving, driving slow then fast, crossing over the lines,
whether it's the fog line or the double yellow lines,” said Messen.

Law enforcement will be
on high alert, watching the roads and highways to prevent a tragedy from
happening.

Sheriff Apple said the
numbers are staggering for our area, just this year alone. At last check,
police have made 1,035 DWI arrests, which number is up from last year. 

He said patrols will be
on the road in full force also looking for distracted drivers as well. He said
distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Messen said it is easy
to spot people on their cell phones because they're too distracted to even
notice the patrol car drive by. 

State Police along with
local police agencies are not only cracking down on just drunk drivers during
the holiday travel- but also and distracted drivers using their cellphones.
News10 ABC's Jennifer Lee spent the day with the Albany County Sheriff's Office
and explains what officers will be looking out for.

Before you get behind
this wheel this Christmas holiday, police want to remind you of the hefty
consequences that come along with drinking and driving. 

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