New York State Police make more than 750 arrests and issue tens of thousands of tickets during 20-day enforcement and education period
Governor Cuomo announced that New York State Police arrested 769 individuals for driving while intoxicated during the 20-day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national crackdown on impaired driving, which is aimed at significantly reducing deaths and injuries caused by motorists driving drunk or impaired by drugs. During this crackdown, which was coordinated by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, State Police and local law enforcement agencies targeted not only drunk or impaired motorists, but also drivers who were distracted, speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and not abiding by the “move over” law.
“The message is clearer than ever before: New York has zero tolerance for drunk driving and reckless driving," Governor Cuomo said. "One mistake can change a life forever, and I applaud the State Police and our law enforcement partners for getting dangerous drivers off the road and keeping New Yorkers safe."
State Police report that of the 769 DWI arrests between the August 21 to September 7 enforcement period, more than 219 occurred during Labor Day weekend alone. During the same period last year, 663 people were arrested for DWI. During the “Drive Sober” campaign, Troopers also issued 47,359 tickets, up from more than 46,500 in 2014: 18,660 for speeding, 1,613 for distracted driving, 2,522 for child restraint and seatbelt violations, and 556 for failing to “move over.” Additionally, Troopers investigated a total of 2,973 crashes during the 20-day period, compared to 2,940 last year. Of these crashes, 857 people were injured, and 25 people were killed.
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said, "State Troopers will simply not tolerate those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired and put the lives of others at risk. We will continue to work on these enforcement initiatives with the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and our local law enforcement partners to put impaired drivers behind bars and make our roads safe for all travelers."
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The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day crackdown kicked off at a press conference in Buffalo on August 20. In New York State, .08 percent BAC is the legal threshold for driving while intoxicated, but many offenders are arrested at nearly twice that level: statewide, the average BAC of those arrested for alcohol-impaired driving is more than .14. Alcohol, however, is just one substance contributing to traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs other than alcohol, such as marijuana and cocaine, are a factor in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths.
“As we’ve made clear in the past, driving while intoxicated or impaired is just not worth it,” said Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “We hope that New Yorkers will see these numbers of tickets and arrests and get the message: impaired driving comes with serious consequences. It ruins careers, families and lives, and is just not worth the risk.”
On November 1, 2014, even stronger penalties were enacted in New York to deter impaired driving. Drivers convicted of DWI or DWAI three or more times in 15 years face a Class D felony charge, up to seven years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000.
New York’s anti-impaired driving enforcement campaigns are funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and STOP-DWI, a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining highway safety program that allows participating counties to qualify for the return of all fines collected for impaired driving offenses.
To learn more about the risks of impaired driving and for traffic safety tips, visit the DMV website and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website.
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