Troopers to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoints Statewide and Target Reckless and Distracted Drivers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will increase patrols to crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions during the 4th of July holiday, beginning Saturday, June 29 and running through Friday, July 5. State Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide in an effort to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel.
"As we approach one of the busiest weekends for summer travel, State Police and local law enforcement will be cracking down on impaired driving of any kind to ensure our roads are safe throughout the holiday," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge all motorists traveling in the upcoming days to drive carefully, wear a seatbelt, and never drink and drive."
New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "Troopers will be out in force this holiday weekend and will be on the lookout for impaired, distracted and reckless motorists who put others in danger. Our message is simple. Don't drink and Drive! Help prevent senseless tragedies caused by impaired driving. Stay safe, and don't make a fatal decision that costs your life or someone else's."
Last year, the State Police issued nearly 10,500 vehicle and traffic tickets during the 4th of July weekend. Troopers arrested 216 people for DWI and investigated 165 crashes, which resulted in four fatalities and 244 injuries.
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 (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.
DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "As motorists hit the road this summer, especially during the holiday, I encourage everyone to drive responsibly. Reckless behavior behind the wheel puts you, your passengers, and all those sharing the road in danger. I applaud our state and local law enforcement officers for helping to ensure our roadways are safe during this busy holiday travel time."
The Fourth of July initiative is partially funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their "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.
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 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 suspect a driver is drunk or impaired 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.