ALBANY, NY -- State and local law enforcement agencies will be out in force, utilizing sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to deter drunk driving during the week of Thanksgiving. Motorists are reminded that driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher will put them over the limit ‑ if they don’t drive sober, they will get pulled over. Law enforcement agencies will also be cracking down on drivers who are impaired by drugs, both illegal and prescription.
Leandra’s Law sets some of the toughest DWI provisions in the country. First time offenders driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs with a child less than 16 years old in the vehicle may be charged with a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison. Drivers convicted must install and maintain an ignition interlock on any vehicle owned or operated by the driver for a minimum period of six months.
In 2012, according to DMV statistics, there were 8,633 alcohol-related crashes in New York State reported by police, resulting in 358 people killed and 6,303 injured. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities increased nationwide by 4.6 percent in 2012, accounting for 31 percent of overall fatalities.