Councilman Mark Cuthbertson holds up a symbol of MADD’s “Tie one on for safety” campaign flanked by, from left, Suffolk County Police Inspector William Scrima, Lynne Pallmeyer, Kevin Gershowitz, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Councilman Ed Smyth. A mangled car on display at the corner of Route 25A and Park Ave. reminds passersby of the consequences of driving under the influence. Photo/Town of Huntington
By Connor Beach
Town of Huntington officials teamed up with activists and police earlier this week to promote a campaign against drunk and distracted driving this holiday season.
The town is partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to support the “tie one on for safety” campaign in an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on Huntington’s roads. Councilman Mark Cuthbertson announced the initiative at a press conference Monday on the Huntington village green at the corner of Route 25A and Park Avenue.
“The most dangerous days of the year on the road are from Thanksgiving to New Years Day,” Cuthbertson said. “Whether it’s drunk or drugged driving, when there is a crash it changes people’s lives and families are torn apart.”
The announcement was made in front of a car that had been wrecked in an accident. The mangled car, donated by Gershow Recycling, served as a stark reminder of the consequences of driving under the influence.
“You can not survive that,” Gershow Recycling’s president Kevin Gershowitz said, pointing at the totaled car.
Also present at the press conference were the family of Huntington Station resident Karen Holden, who was killed in 2016 when a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit crashed into her car.
“Gone are the days of happy celebrations, as one chair will always be empty,” Holden’s sister Lynne Pallmeyer, of East Northport, said. “We implore that everyone just think before they have that last drink and get behind the wheel.”
Councilman Ed Smyth added a stern reminder to bar owners and other establishments that serve alcohol.
“If you have a commercial establishment serving alcohol, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not serving a visibly intoxicated patron,” Smyth said.
Suffolk County Police Inspector William Scrima from the second precinct said police are stepping up DWI enforcement over the holiday season, and advised partygoers to call for a ride or use a designated driver.