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Troopers & local law enforcement agencies across state will target impaired, reckless drivers through holiday weekend
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies across the state will increase patrols and crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions this 4th of July weekend. State troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel.
The campaign will begin this Friday, July 2, and run through Monday, July 5.
"With all that we've been through over the last 16 months, we certainly want New Yorkers to have fun this holiday weekend and celebrate, but we also want them to do so responsibly," Cuomo said. "Getting behind the wheel while impaired is a choice that often ends in tragedy. Make the right choice this year and plan ahead for a sober and safe ride home."
Last year, the State Police issued nearly 9,214 vehicle and traffic tickets during the 4th of July weekend. Troopers arrested 180 people for DWI and investigated 456 crashes and one fatality.
New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "Troopers will be out in force and highly visible this weekend, on the lookout for impaired, drugged and reckless drivers. Our message is simple: If you drink and drive, you will be arrested. Stay safe and don't make a bad decision that costs your life or the life of someone else."
During this enforcement period, drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. 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.
Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and concealed identity traffic enforcement 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.
DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "As we celebrate the 245th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence, it is important we do so responsibly. If you know you will be drinking, make a plan to either stay where you are or to get home safely. Designate a driver, arrange for a cab or a ride share, and enjoy the day without putting yourself or anyone else in harm's way."
The Fourth of July initiative is partially funded by the GTSC. It 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 or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.
A press release stated, “If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face arrest, jail time and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000. Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face 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, and lost time at work.”
The New York State Police, GTSC and NHTSA recommend these tips to prevent impaired 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 suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement; and
√ 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.