Category: Archive

Cops cracking down on holiday drunk drivers

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’Reilly

Several Irish neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens are to be included in the annual holiday crackdown on drunk driving.

Police at the 47th precinct in the Bronx, who patrol several predominantly Irish neighborhoods, say they will be on the lookout for anybody drinking and driving over the next few days.

"We’re out there to protect everyone and it’s important that the public realize this," a police spokesman said. "We want the message to be loud and clear: if you drink, don’t drive. Christmas and the New Year’s is a time to be enjoyed by all and that’s the way we want to keep it."

Yonkers Police also said they would be on the alert for drunk drivers.

"We’ll stop anyone we see breaking the law, it doesn’t matter who they are or what neighborhood they are in," one officer said.

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Seamus Clarke, one of the proprietors of J.P. Clarke’s bar, which is along the Bronx Yonkers border, said his regular customers are aware of the Christmas crackdown.

"I think that Irish drinkers are smart enough now to realize that you just can’t afford to drink and drive," he said. "It’s very evident that people are using the many cab services around here and, to be honest, very few are taking the chance."

J.P. Clarke’s is in the heart of the Irish community, on McLean Avenue. The area is renowned for it’s Irish bars and is popular with late-night revelers.

Clarke, who is also a member of the Hyatt Community Association, said most people are responsible when it came to alcohol.

At last month’s community meeting between Westchester officers and community activists, the police, Clarke said, complimented publicans on the professional manner in which they are carrying out their business.

"We always do our best to look after the customers, be that organizing a cab home or giving somebody a lift to their house or apartment," Clarke said.

"The relationship between the Yonkers police and the publicans has also improved in the last few months and that’s very important to all of us."

Publicans who remain open until 4 a.m. along the Bronx-Yonkers border have come under severe pressure of late to close their premises earlier. On each occasion, however, it has failed to progress past the discussion stage.

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