The New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Police Troop T have announced the "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest" initiative, part of a national crackdown. The 17-day awareness campaign will begin Thursday, Dec. 16, and continue through Saturday, Jan. 1.
"As motorists head to their destinations during the holiday period, drivers should be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving," said Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer. "The Thruway is one of the safest highways in the nation, and it is critical that motorists do not drink and drive to protect themselves and other Thruway users."
New York State Police Troop T, whose members patrol the Thruway exclusively, will be out in full force keeping a close watch for drunk drivers.
"Troop T is committed to making the Thruway safe," said Troop T Commander Major Robert C. Meyers. "Our goal is to maximize DWI enforcement efforts to ensure that motorists are not needlessly injured or killed by an intoxicated or drug impaired driver during this time. Impaired driving continues to be one of the deadliest crimes nationwide."
Drinking and driving is a hazardous combination. One third of the fatalities in New York state involved impaired or intoxicated drivers and pedestrians. Blood alcohol content (BAC) is a measure of concentration of alcohol in a person's blood. With increased BAC, crash risk increases sharply. A driver with a BAC of 0.08 is four times more likely to cause a crash as a driver who has not been drinking, while a driver with a BAC of 0.16 is 25 times more likely to do so.
In 2009, as part of the "National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend," State Police Troop T issued 8,089 tickets and made 93 arrests for drunk driving.