626 Dutchess Turnpike
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Victim Impact Panel contact - Kathy Knauss
Prevention Educator/Teen Driving Coordinator
Council on Addiction Prevention & Education, Inc
807 Route 52, Room 028
Fishkill, New York 12524
(845) 765-8301 x100
Dutchess County Remembers Drunk Driving Crash Victims
Impaired Driving Crackdown in effect May 24th through May 28th
Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro joined the Dutchess County Chapter of Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID) today for the 36th annual “DWI Victims Memorial Ceremony” to honor the memories of Dutchess County victims of DWI crashes. Friends and family gathered as 52 victims’ names were read. The goal of the event is to heighten public awareness of alcohol-related fatalities and the impact of impaired driving on the community. A short video from today’s event is available online.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County will never forget those we have lost to intoxicated driving. If you choose to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, you risk not only your own life, but the lives of those with whom you share the road. Lives throughout Dutchess County have been irrevocably harmed because of the reckless decisions of those who chose to drive while impaired. Future tragedies can be avoided by making the clear choice: Don’t drive while impaired.”
The annual ceremony includes a reading of Dutchess County victims of DWI. Fifty-two (52) victims are memorialized on a plaque that hangs in the Dutchess County Office Building outside of the Motor Vehicles Office.
County Executive Molinaro and local officials also announced law-enforcement agencies throughout Dutchess County will participate in a special enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving to coincide with the Memorial Day holiday. The statewide STOP-DWI crackdown efforts start on Friday, May 24th and will end on Tuesday, May 28th.
Memorial Day week is often considered the unofficial start of summer, historically a deadly period for impaired driving. With more people on the road in general and more people specifically driving impaired, there is approximately 13 percent more fatalities than on a non-holiday weekend. The American Automobile Association (AAA) projected last year 36.1 million drivers would drive at least 50 miles from home during Memorial Day weekend. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 400 people a year die nationwide during a typical Memorial Day weekend. Forty-four (44) percent of all traffic fatalities that occur over the Memorial Day weekend are alcohol-related, therefore it is critical for all drivers and passengers to be mindful and responsible throughout these high-risk holiday periods.
The New York State Police, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and municipal law-enforcement agencies will collaborate across the state and will be out in force during this coordinated effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths during this period.
Dutchess County District Attorney William V. Grady said, “For every victim, there are friends and relatives, so literally thousands of people have experienced the emotional trauma and the heartache that goes with experiencing a death as a result of a driving while intoxicated case – especially when the irresponsible conduct by the offenders who caused these terrible tragedies could have easily been avoided.”
County Executive Molinaro said, “We’re proud of the many recreational opportunities Dutchess County has to offer year-round, and we look to ensure our roadways are safe for all who use them. Driving while intoxicated puts lives at risk, and Dutchess County will not tolerate it on our roads. We thank the brave men and women who keep our streets safe from unsafe drivers, and we applaud their dedication to their duty to safeguard our residents. Memorial Day is an opportunity to celebrate with friends and family, but if you do, please celebrate safely, designate a driver and don’t risk your lives and the lives of others.”
The Memorial Day Weekend crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association, with additional funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation with a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets July 4th and Labor Day weekend, Halloween and the holiday season in December.
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said, “Law enforcement will utilize a variety of coordinated approaches including saturation patrols and roving sobriety checkpoints in the ongoing effort to identify and arrest impaired drivers.”
While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.
24th Annual STOP-DWI Law Enforcement Awards Honor Local “TOP COPS”
Poughkeepsie… The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board honored eight law enforcement officers as “TOP COPS” at the 24th Annual Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon held today at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in the City of Poughkeepsie. The event honors police officers from throughout Dutchess County for their enforcement efforts in the detection and apprehension of impaired drivers in support of the STOP-DWI Program’s mission to deter drunk/drugged driving.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “The annual STOP-DWI Program Law Enforcement Awards ceremony helps spread awareness of our concerted education and enforcement efforts to eliminate impaired driving within Dutchess County. These awards serve as a reminder of the level of commitment of the dedicated men and women of law enforcement who serve our residents tirelessly and keep our roads as safe as possible. We are proud to recognize these individuals and thank them for their service to our community.”
2018 “TOP COP” Award Winners
Investigator Steven M. Schmoke, New York State Police Troop K (Poughkeepsie)
Trooper Cody J. Vetter, New York State Police Troop K (Lagrange)
Deputy Sheriff Justin Bogdanffy, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Sheriff Stephen Sansoni, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
Police Officer Travis Sterritt, Village of Red Hook Police
Police Officer Tyler Hoag, City of Poughkeepsie Police
Police Officer Michael Veeder, Village of Millerton Police
Probation Officer Ashley Pilla, Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections
This was the first year the STOP-DWI Planning Board included a Probation Officer in its awards program to recognize those who go above and beyond their typical duties to further the STOP-DWI mission. Probation Officer Ashley Pilla from the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections was honored for her contributions to impaired driving enforcement efforts. Ms. Pilla is part of the DWI Unit and is assigned to the STOP-DWI caseload. In addition to her typical duties, she has proactively supervised numerous probationers deemed high-risk to re-offend both among her cases and in others and has established a close working relationship with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. This year, her diligent work has facilitated the ticketing and/or arrest of 10 repeat offenders for various Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) offenses, including Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) and Ignition Interlock Device (IID) violations. Ms. Pilla strives to hold offenders accountable for their behavior while effectively guiding them to make positive life changes as an Intoxicated Driver Program (IDP) Instructor and a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).
The event also highlighted the start of the annual “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign, which runs from Wednesday, November 21st through Sunday, November 25th, with law enforcement agencies participating in a county-wide program to catch impaired drivers this holiday season. The “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign includes coordinated, multi-jurisdictional sobriety checkpoints and targeted saturation patrols throughout Dutchess County and includes the assignment of Drug Recognition Experts to assist in the identification and apprehension of those impaired by drugs other than alcohol.
Motorists who encounter what they suspect is an impaired driver should call 9-1-1 with a description of the vehicle, location and direction of travel. The enforcement effort is administered by the Dutchess County STOP-DWI program through grant funding awarded from the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation.
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said, “Today’s event celebrates the law enforcement officers who continue to keep our roadways safe and ensure we all get home safely to our friends and family. The ‘Thanksgiving Crackdown’ is a reminder of the role we all play in these efforts and encourage everyone to make smart decisions, especially during the festivities of the holiday season. Motorists who drive while impaired will be arrested and prosecuted. No warnings and no excuses.”
St Patrick’s Day Crackdown results in 31 Arrests for Dutchess County Agencies
During the St Patrick’s Day Crackdown period of March 15, 2019 thru March 18, 2019 members of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Town and City of Poughkeepsie Police Departments, Town of Hyde Park Police Department, Town of East Fishkill Police Department, Village Millerton Police Department & Village of Red Hook Police Department conducted Impaired Driving details consisting of Saturation Patrols throughout the county in addition to their regular patrols. A total of 31 arrests were made including 23 impaired driving arrests during the period.
These coordinated details were funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation which once again awarded the Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program a “Crackdown Enforcement Grant” for the 2018-2019 Crackdown periods. The objective of this continued enforcement grant is to revitalize and enhance the visibility of the STOP-DWI Program through coordinated multi-agency impaired driving enforcement details targeting identified statewide crackdown periods. They also include the assignment of certified Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to aid in the identification and apprehension of drivers impaired by drugs other than alcohol.
Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson stated “Once again these coordinated patrols reinforce the message to separate two behaviors, and that impaired driving enforcement and prosecution is a priority in Dutchess County. St Patrick’s Day should be fun and festive for everybody, but for many it has become synonymous with drinking. We acknowledge Law Enforcement’s efforts to identify and apprehend those drivers who choose to drive impaired.”
Below is a listing of arrestees and charges from the details as well as arrests by agency patrols.
Michael George (44 yoa) of Germantown, NY was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 4th a felony as well as Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th a misdemeanor in the Town of Red Hook.
Tristan Geary (21 yoa) of Brookline, MA was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors in the Town of Red Hook.
Josephine Bloodgood (52 yoa) of New Paltz, NY was charged with DWAI a violation in the Village of Red Hook.
Michael Taber (22 yoa) of Wappingers Falls, NY was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd a misdemeanor in the Town of East Fishkill.
Luis Santamariasanchz (34 yao) of Brooklyn, NY was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd & False personation misdemeanors in the Town of East Fishkill.
Daniel Usher (29 yoa) of Wappingers Falls, NY was charged with DWI, Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd & Resisting Arrest all misdemeanors in the Town of East Fishkill.
Michelle Saposnick (32 yoa) of Hopewell Jct, NY was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd a misdemeanor in the Town of East Fishkill.
Larry Tuttle Jr (30 yoa) of Wappingers Falls, NY was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 2nd, Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd & Resisting Arrest all misdemeanors as well as Failed to Obey a Police Officer a traffic infraction in the Town of East Fishkill.
Christopher Barreca (44 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY was charged with DWI a misdemeanor in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
Daneil McLaughlin (28 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
Zachary VanKleeck (19 yoa) of Hyde Park, NY was charged with DWI & Aggravated DWI (BAC.18% or more) both misdemeanors in the Town of Hyde Park.
Jason Reilly (44 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY was charged with DWI a misdemeanor in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
Thomas Comizio (57 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors in the Town of LaGrange.
Jaimeek Fuller (23 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th a misdemeanor in the City of Poughkeepsie.
William James Jr (57 yoa) of Fishkill, NY was charged with DWAI combined Drugs & Alcohol as well as Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th both misdemeanors in the Town of Hyde Park.
Marnie Wood (43 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Thomas Conger (60 yoa) of Union Vale, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors in the Town of LaGrange.
Adrian Decarlo (50 yoa) of East Fishkill, NY was charged with DWI a misdemeanor in the Town of LaGrange.
Matthew Randolph (30 yoa) of Poughkeepsie was charged with DWI & Aggravated DWI (BAC.18% or more) both misdemeanors in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Joshua Davis (48 yoa) of Wappingers falls, NY was charged with DWI a misdemeanor.
Charles Premuto (34 yoa) of Mahopac, NY was charged with DWI a misdemeanor.
Mark Russe (58 yoa) of Wappingers Falls, NY was charged with DWI and Aggravated DWI (BAC .18 % or more) both misdemeanors.
Albert Lara (28 yoa) of East Elmhurst, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
Michael Casino (32 yoa) of Wappingers Falls, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
Jodi Bernstein (48 yoa) of Hopewell Jct, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
Alyssa Cenname (25 yoa) of Hopewell Jct, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
Justin Long (31 yoa) of Poughkeepsie, NY Hopewell Jct, NY was charged with DWI & Aggravated DWI (BAC .18% or more) both misdemeanors.
Jose Garcia-Moreno (45 yoa) of Norwalk, CT was Hopewell Jct, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
Frank Nicodemus (31 yoa) Wappingers Falls, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
Jonathan Almonte (28 yoa) New York, NY Hopewell Jct, NY was charged with DWI & BAC .08% or more both misdemeanors.
A 26 yoa female from Germantown, NY and a 20 yoa male from Hyde Park, NY were charged with Unlawful Possession of Marihuana a violation.
*All subjects arrested and charged are alleged to have committed the crime and are presumed innocent until proven guilty and are to appear in local courts at a later date.