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State Police, local law enforcement to crack down on impaired & reckless driving

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Fri, May 28th 2021 01:40 pm

Enforcement campaign to run through June 1

√ More than 8,000 vehicle & traffic law violation tickets issued during last year's initiative

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York State Police and local law enforcement statewide will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving throughout Memorial Day weekend. The enforcement period runs through Tuesday, June 1.

A press release stated, “Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year and police will be out in force to remove impaired and reckless drivers from our highways.”

Cuomo said, "This Memorial Day weekend, please honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to guarantee our freedom by making smart, safe choices on our roads and highways. Impaired driving is reckless, dangerous and puts lives at risk. Please act responsibly and don't get behind the wheel if you've been drinking."

Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols by State Police and local law enforcement agencies during this holiday weekend. Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and concealed identity traffic enforcement vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are noticeable as emergency vehicles once their emergency lighting is activated.

State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "State Troopers and our local law enforcement partners will be highly visible this weekend, targeting impaired and reckless drivers. If your weekend plans include alcohol, assign a designated driver, or make other plans for a safe ride home. We will have zero tolerance for those who endanger the lives of others."

Mark J.F. Schroeder, commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, said, "As the state begins to reopen, we are all eager to get back on the road and visit family and friends and to take vacations. Driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is no way to honor the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy those freedoms and spend time with our loved ones. Out of respect for their sacrifice and for the safety of everyone on the roads, we are urging everyone to be responsible and drive sober."

This initiative is partially funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists the "Have a Plan" mobile app is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to even report a suspected impaired driver.

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany, 251 people were killed and 5,151 were injured in drunk driving related crashes in 2019. Another 258 people were killed in drug-related crashes.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2020, troopers arrested 203 people for driving while impaired, issued 8,907 total tickets, and investigated 457 crashes, which resulted in two fatalities. In addition to the New York State Police, numerous counties and agencies throughout the state also participated in last year's Memorial Day crackdown.

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