Local and state police will be cracking down on drunk or drugged drivers during the Fourth of July holiday, as they continue their attempts to curtail intoxicated driving statewide.
New York State Police will increase patrols for several days, beginning on Saturday, June 30 and continuing through Thursday, July 5, including additional sobriety checkpoints and units targeting reckless or aggressive driving statewide “in an effort to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel.”
Police said that 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 must also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road when they travel on New York roadways.
According to officials, 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 everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
Last year, State Police troopers doled out nearly 10,500 vehicle and traffic tickets during the Fourth of July holiday. Troopers arrested 240 people for DWI and investigated 152 crashes, which resulted in three fatalities and 248 injuries.
New York State Police Superintendent George Beach II noted that those planning on celebrating Independence Day with some adult beverages have a plan in place to avoid drinking and driving.
“State Troopers will be highly visible on the roadways during the holiday, targeting drivers who needlessly put others in danger. We know all too well the preventable tragedies caused by impaired, reckless and distracted driving. Make the right choice – if your celebrations include drinking, plan ahead for a safe ride home.
"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, loss of your driver's license and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000."
The New York State Police, GTSC and NHTSA recommend several simple tips to help avoid a drunk driving conviction:
- 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.
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