Each year, law enforcement agencies throughout the area have joined a statewide initiative targeting drunk drivers during the busy holiday season.

During those times, patrolmen work overtime for roadside checkpoints and conduct specialized patrols around the community, said Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. The STOP-DWI crackdown effort started Friday and will end Jan. 1, 2019.

Allard said while people spend the holiday season celebrating with friends and family looking to the blessings of the New Year, the law enforcement community across the state will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, preventing injuries and saving lives.

Officials say research indicates high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.

“Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem,” Allard said.

Corning Police Chief Jeff Spaulding said the goal is not to make the most arrests.

“It’s to keep impaired drivers off the road,” Spaulding said. “It’s education through enforcement. We stop a lot of cars and we explain to them that we are out here in full force participating in national and state-sponsored programs.”

Spaulding said when a vehicle is pulled over, patrolmen tell them why they were stopped.

“If they’ve been drinking and they are driving, we will make an arrest and they will be charged,” Spaulding said.

Bath Village Police Chief Chad Mullen said the department will join the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police in DWI checkpoint enforcement.

“Saturation patrols concentrate police in a specific area,” Mullen said. “The checkpoints, which make it harder for intoxicated or impaired drivers to avoid detection, also often net stolen vehicles, drugs, illegal weapons and people wanted on arrest warrants.”

While STOP-DWI efforts across the state have led to significant reductions in the number of alcohol and drug related fatalities, officials said too many lives are still being lost because of crashes caused by drunk drivers.

People can make a difference by having a sober plan, officials said. Download mobile app "Have a Plan" to find a safe ride home -- www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp.

Allard said impaired driving is completely preventable, all it takes is a little planning.