NEW YORK, NY -- The New York State Police, along with local law enforcement agencies, will increase patrols to crack down on drunk and drugged driving this 4th of July weekend. In an effort to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel, State Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints, along with speeding and seat belt enforcement details throughout the state. This STOP-DWI crackdown will begin on Saturday, July 1, 2017 and run through Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
Last year, the State Police issued nearly 11,000 vehicle and traffic tickets during the 4th of July weekend. Troopers arrested 206 people for DWI and responded to 756 crashes, which resulted in three fatalities.
During the enforcement, drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. Troopers 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. State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.
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 (NHTSA), during the July 4th period in 2015, 146 people died nationwide in alcohol related crashes. Two thirds of those crashes involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 percent or higher which is almost twice the legal limit.
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, dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing expenses, and lost time at work.
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.