December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Our Stop-DWI message of “Don’t Drink and Drive” and its consequences are very familiar, but many don’t realize that drugs prescribed by a doctor can affect your ability to safely drive. Now drugged driving has become more commonly associated with prescription and even over-the-counter drugs. Safe driving requires clear judgment, perception, concentration, motor skills, memory and reaction to your surroundings. These skills are affected by prescription and over-the-counter drugs. It is important to read the warnings and side effects on the labels of drugs, to be aware of how your body reacts and to discuss any effects with your doctor or pharmacist. Your life and the lives of others on the road depend on it.
Available to assist you is a free Have a Plan mobile app that encourages people to have a plan to get home safely if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs. The Have a Plan app operates on iPhone, Android and Windows platforms with features such as an ability to preload a list of designated drivers, find a taxi cab via GPS, an alcohol impairment estimator, various motor skills tests to assess impairment level and a Report DWI button that connects users to the local 911 Center. The app also offers a list of DWI facts and myths, access to Stop-DWI social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well as a RSS feed to get the latest news on impaired driving. The Have a Plan app is important in our effort to prevent impaired driving. I want people to enjoy themselves, but I also want them to get home safely. This app helps its users do that by placing a tool in the hands of a potentially impaired driver to find a safe way home. Don’t put yourself or others in harm’s way by driving while impaired. The app was developed by Stop-DWI New York and Staples Marketing under a grant from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Have a Plan is one of the most comprehensive traffic safety mobile apps in the country. Users can download the Have a Plan app by visiting app and selecting the link for the Apple Store, Google Play or the Windows Phone Store. Please drink responsibly.
Please drive slowly and safely this winter. Slow down, allow extra travel time and display your headlights and taillights when driving in extreme weather conditions to comply with the law and for your safety. Make sure your tires have good tread, air pressure is sufficient, place extra clothing in your vehicle and keep your gas tank at least halfway full. Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and move as far as possible to the right portion of the roadway when a snow plow is approaching. Remember, it is impossible and economically infeasible for the state and town highway departments to have roadways free of snow and ice with our winter weather conditions.
Domestic violence does not take a holiday break. Given the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, along with the added fiscal and family stress combined with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, my experience tells me there will be an increase in domestic violence. If you need help, call the Victim Resource Center at (800) 343-8808 in Newark or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233. If your situation is an emergency, call 911 for the closest law enforcement officer to respond to your crisis.
If you shop at night, park in a well-lighted area. Do not leave packages or valuables in plain sight in your car. Lock them in the trunk. When you use an ATM, protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone that is standing near you and do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location. Notify the credit card issuer and law enforcement immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused. Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con artists may try various methods of distracting you with intentions to steal your money and/or packages. Donate to recognized charitable organizations, not just anyone soliciting money contributions.
In October 2017, 73 males and 11 females, 84 total, were committed to the jail facility. There were 101 transports, 8,912 inmate meals served and $26,802.99 collected from 32 inmates released on bail and fines. Inmates worked 1,555 hours of labor in laundry, facility cleaning and food service. The jail facility boarded 19 inmates from Chautauqua, Genesee and Oswego county sheriff’s offices, and secured 21 parole violators and 16 inmates that were ready for transfer to state prison.
Court security officers cleared 4,013 people entering the Hall of Justice through the magnetometer, securing 60 weapons and 858 other contraband items similar to Transportation Security Administration airport security — firearms, ammunition, knives, scissors, cell phones, glass bottles, umbrellas, helmets, hand tools, etc. Deputies traveled 116,196 miles on patrol, investigating 128 motor vehicle accidents in which 15 people were injured and one killed, 32 animal complaints, 471 minor crimes, 17 major crimes, eight fire investigations and 1,780 miscellaneous complaints, totaling 3,688 for the month. Deputies issued 547 traffic tickets, eight DWIs and made 187 violation, misdemeanor and felony arrests and 28 mental health arrests.
The Records Office registered 39 sex offenders, and deputies verified 113 offender home addresses, processed 83 requests for reports and conducted 78 records checks. The Pistol Permit Unit processed 34 pistol permit applications and 89 pistol permit amendments requiring a Brady Check. The Civil Office served 139 legal papers and 107 Family Court orders, handled 11 evictions, received $120,657.13 and paid out $119,658.70 to creditors. County Treasurer Thomas Warnick received $16,464.91 for the county’s general fund.
Wayne County law enforcement charged 21 people with DWI: Macedon Police Department, five; Newark Police Department, one; Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, eight; and New York State Police, seven. Please drink responsibly.
Deputies Andrew Hares and Sam Ross attended Intermediate, Advanced and Technical Crash Management Training in Onondaga County. Sgts. Kevin Kuntz, Tom Virts and Mark Loveless attended the Fire Arson Seminar in Montour Falls. Sgts. Joseph Hendler and James Miller attended the Correction Supervisors Training at Yates County Sheriff’s Office. Sgts. George Lorenz, Andrea Knapp and Craig Pagnotti attended the Instructor Development Course at Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy Safety Training Center in Canandaigua. Sgt. Rod Gifford and Deputy Robert Harkins attended the NYAHN Hostage Negotiator Training Conference in Queens. Sgts. Frank Paddock and Fred Crane attended the Correction Supervisors Training at Yates County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Matt Hilkert and Deputy Chris VerStraete attended the Updated Defensive Tactics Training in Onondaga County.
If you see something, say something. Call 911 to report any suspicious activity.
A free holiday gift for your loved ones is the Yellow Dot p. The program is designed to help emergency first responders provide life-saving medical attention during the first “golden hour” after a crash or other emergency. The Yellow Dot program contains a medical information card and a Yellow Dot. Participants complete the card, attach a recent photo, place the card in the glove compartment of their vehicle and place the Yellow Dot decal on the rear driver’s side window. The Yellow Dot kit can also be used to alert those who respond to an emergency in your home. Simply place a Yellow Dot decal on or beside your front door, and place a completed card for each occupant in a clear plastic freezer bag and place in a visible location in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. Contact Betty Rose Chardeen at (315) 946-5799 or You can also have a kit mailed to you by visiting
I hope you and yours have a safe holiday season and a very Merry Christmas.
Social media is used to inform you of events and arrests that would be released to the media, but timelier to keep you informed. Social media sites are not used as an official communication tool. Concerns and inquiries should be directed to me by calling (315) 946-5797, by emailing or mailing Sheriff Barry Virts, 7376 state Route 31, Suite 1000, Lyons, NY, 14489. If you have a complaint that is an emergency or time sensitive, call 911 to have law enforcement respond immediately.
Visit us at our social media sites — our Facebook page, “Wayne County Sheriff’s Office”; two Twitter accounts, @SheriffVirts and @WayneCoSheriff; and website, Load the free MobilePatrol App on your smartphone for a one stop resource for all WCSO information.
Please contact me at (315) 946-5797 or at with any questions or concerns you may have.