The Anti-DWI Push is On

December 30, 2012 Updated Dec 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Rachel Elzufon

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December 30, 2012 Updated Dec 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Liquor stores and taverns will see a spike in sales, as people get ready to ring in the New Year on Monday.

The push is already underway to make sure partiers don't take their celebrations on the road.

Law enforcement agencies across New York State say they are increasing drunken driving patrols and seat belt checks as the New Year's Holiday approaches.

Now family members of those killed in DWI crashes are warning others --not to drink and drive.

Western New York has been plagued by suspected drunk driving accidents in the last few months, which have left four innocent victims dead -- the youngest, just seven months old.

Elizabeth Obad from Mothers Against Drunk Driving says, "We've had so many crashes. And this holiday season has been so difficult for so many families -- please think about what you're doing."

Now, months after Doctor James Corasanti was acquitted on almost every count except a misdemeanor DWI in Alexandria Rice's death, family members remember the vivacious girl on what would have been her 20th birthday.

"She was always nothing but happy," remembers her cousin, Corrina Price. "I know she's watching over us."

Through music, a community comes together. More than a hundred came to a reunion concert of the Buffalo band Dead Hearts. The concert's purpose was to raise money for a park in Alix Rice's honor. Many people who came never knew Alix, but wanted to remember the life lost.

Corrina says Alix "would have been crazy about this. Anytime people got together, had fun -- music was huge in her life. It's a tribute to who she was."

Josh Heatley, the band's drummer, says, "Our goal is to raise money for the skate park, but to raise awareness too. Make better decisions."

Loved ones hope a fundraiser for a skate park in Alix's name also helps another issue hit home: do not drink and drive.

Corinna reminds people "Make sure you know how you're getting home. It affects the whole community, everyone around you."

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pushing the same message.

Statistics show alcohol is a factor in half of deadly New Year's crashes.

Obad says that MADD and the Thruway Authority are teaming up -- handing out red ribbons at toll booths as a reminder to people don't drink and drive -- don't get behind the wheel after you've been drinking."

MADD is also putting up signs on the Thruway to warn about drinking and driving.