State Police will step up DWI enforcement over weekend

Posted 2 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced the State Police and local law enforcement will increase patrols to crack down on drivers who violate the law this Fourth of July weekend from Friday until Monday.

“As we approach the July 4th weekend, State Police will be out in full force to crack down on reckless behavior and distracted driving on our roadways,” Cuomo said. “I urge all drivers to act responsibly and stay safe in order to avoid needless tragedies this holiday weekend.”

Last year, the New York State Police issued more than 10,200 vehicle and traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend. Troopers arrested more than 180 people for DWI and responded to more than 650 accidents, two of which resulted in fatalities.

“The Fourth of July is known for its fun and fireworks, but New Yorkers should also remember it can also be fatal if they don’t make the right decision,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico. “Our Troopers will be out to identify and arrest any motorist who is driving drunk or impaired. Be safe this holiday weekend, allow plenty of time to travel, put down your cell phones and don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking.”

During the enforcement, drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. Troopers will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.

Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road when they travel New York roadways.

During the campaign, Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow Troopers to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Data shows that the Fourth of July holiday period is especially deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the July 4th period in 2013, there were 512 people killed in crashes, of those 199 (39 percent) had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

This campaigns serves as a reminder to New Yorkers that driving drunk not only puts lives at risk, but that those who drive drunk could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

Arrested drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, lost time at work, etc.

The New York State Police and NHTSA recommend these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:

Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;

Before drinking, designate a sober driver;

If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;

Use your community’s sober ride program;

If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement;

If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.