Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that State Police and local law enforcement statewide will ramp up patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving this Memorial Day weekend. The STOP-DWI enforcement period kicked-off today, Friday, May 26 and will continue through Monday, May 29. 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 New York's highways.
"We have zero tolerance for impaired and reckless driving in New York, and this campaign will help crack down on this dangerous behavior and make our roadways safe for motorists during this busy travel time," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge everyone to drive safely and be responsible this Memorial Day weekend."
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 every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
On Memorial Day weekend in 2016, Troopers arrested 225 people for drinking and driving, issued nearly 12,000 tickets, and responded to three fatal motor vehicle crashes that killed three people. In addition, 38 counties and 131 agencies participated in last year’s Memorial Day Crackdown resulting in 196 DWI/DWAI arrests, five DWAI-Drug only arrests, 124 other arrests and 1,671 Vehicle and Traffic summonses.
State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "As you plan your holiday weekend, remember to make safety your top priority. Drive sober, wear your seat belt and put down your smart phone. If your plans include alcohol, assign a designated driver or make other arrangements for a safe ride home. Troopers will be highly visible this weekend and will have zero tolerance for impaired and reckless drivers."
State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner and GTSC Acting Chair Terri Egan said, "The best way to celebrate the start of the summer is to do so safely. People who will be consuming alcoholic beverages should designate a driver or arrange for a cab ride wherever they need to go."
According to the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, drunk driving killed 313 people and injured more than 5,300 others in New York State during 2015. Another 244 people were killed in drug-related crashes. This initiative is partially funded by the GTSC.
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