ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Police Department said it will be increasing DWI patrols throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to curb drunk and impaired driving.

The IPD encourages people to plan ahead and coordinate a designated driver, take a cab, Uber or Lyft, or TCAT bus. (Though note that TCAT is not running on Thanksgiving Day).

The extra patrols are part of Tompkins County’s STOP-DWI Program, whose mission is to promote DWI prevention as a public priority. The IPD said it uses funding from the program “to make our roadways safer and decrease alcohol-related traffic crashings within the City of Ithaca.”

The number of impaired driving violations and driving-related deaths have been shown to increase Thanksgiving weekend and into the holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last year, nearly one in three traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver. And between 2013 and 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.