Message from the Chief

 Joseph A. Sinagra


















The Saugerties Police Department is reminding our community of the dangers of drinking and driving this prom and graduation season.

When it comes to driving, teenagers are already four times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident, prone to distractions and poor judgment at a greater level than more experienced drivers. Adding the dynamics of prom nights and approaching graduation celebrations during the month of  June only adds to this mix, increasing the risks of something tragic happening.  Although it is justifiably a time for celebration, it is also most importantly that caution and restraint be exercised by not only those attending proms and graduation parties, but further it is a time for those businesses and adults hosting such celebrations to do so responsibly.  While all parents want their teens to enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime events, it's important to take preventive measures to ensure their safety during these high-risk times.

On February 19, 2008, the Ulster County Legislature passed “Local Law Number 2 of 2008, which, in pertinent part, provides that “no person having any control of any premises shall allow an open house party to take place at said residence if such person knows or has reason to know that any alcoholic beverage or drug is being unlawfully possessed, served to or consumed by a minor (under 21) at said residence.”  The law defines “open house party” as “a social gathering at a residence or other private property with minors present.”

The Social Host Liability Act of the State of New York imposes civil liability upon any individual who knowingly serves or permits alcohol to be served to a minor if that minor causes injury to another as a result of his or her intoxication.

Section 260.20 of the Penal Law of the State of New York authorizes the prosecution of any individual who gives or sells or causes to be given or sold any alcoholic beverage to a person less than 21 years old.

            The Saugerties Police Department is committed to the community we serve on a daily basis, and to those who visit our community.  It is with this community oriented focus in mind that we intend on strictly enforcing all alcohol related offenses committed in both the commercial and residential settings, paying particular attention to events such as proms and graduation parties.  We, as a community are responsible for ensuring that our youth celebrate responsibly.  Please help the Saugerties Police in making this season of celebration one to remember, and not one of tragedy.