Stay Alert, Drive Safely! Happy New Year! | WAMC

Stay Alert, Drive Safely! Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, many of us will take to the highways - whether it's dinner and a night out, a visit to family, or a junket to an entertainment venue,  law enforcement officials urge one and all to 'stay safe.'

Drinking and driving can turn a festive time into a tragic one.  The same can be said for dozing off while behind the wheel after getting tuckered out from celebrating on New Year's Eve.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Bob Megna encourages motorists to take a break during their travels and to promote safe driving during the busy holiday season. Motorists are reminded not to stop along the shoulder of the roadway except in the case of an emergency.

New York State Police Sergeant Doug Paquette oversees impaired driving enforcement efforts for the division statewide.     "We're gonna be out there. We have special enforcement details out there this evening. We have stuff going on dealing with underage alcohol sales. We'll have underage operatives in stores with troopers doing details to see if the places will be selling to underage. That's one aspect of our enforcement efforts. We'll have extra patrols on the road tonight. All our troops are going to be doing sobriety checkpoints statewide. Again, high visibility. We're out there and we're lookin'. And that's to make people aware that if you drink and drive, you're probably gonna get stopped somewhere along the line."

Capital Region law firm Martin, Harding & Mazzotti’s traditional "Free Cab Ride Home" program is running tonight. The rides run 10 p.m. thru 2 a.m. on New Year's Day.    To get your free cab ride home call  1800LAW1010 or 1.800.529.1010

Albany County STOP DWI is offering rides until 3:00 a.m. Friday. Green-N-Go Cabs and Yellow Cab will reportedly be providing the free rides by calling 361-299-9999 or by texting the same number.

Sgt. Paquette says  "If you're out tonight, and for whatever reason you think you may have had too much, you probably did, and get yourself a way home, but not behind the wheel of a car yourself."

The New York State Thruway Authority is continuing its 45 year tradition of offering free coffee and hot tea to travelers along the superhighway on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s morning.

The free beverages will be available at each of the Thruway’s 27 service areas beginning at 11 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. on Friday.

For a complete list of travel plazas along the Thruway, go to