Be smart, not just scary this Halloween weekend, state officials said Thursday in announcing a holiday crackdown on impaired drivers.
State and local police agencies across New York, including on Long Island, will boost patrols and set up sobriety checkpoints to avoid a repeat of last year’s lethal Halloween, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office. Officials are especially concerned this year because fright night falls on a Monday, giving people all weekend to toast Halloween.
“There will be more social gatherings, and we’re very cognizant of that,” said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a Nassau police spokesman.
On Long Island, state troopers will set up a DWI checkpoint on Southern State Parkway and three undercover stings targeting alcohol sales to people under the legal drinking age, said Trooper Frank Bandiero, a spokesman at the Farmingdale barracks.
Suffolk police did not immediately respond Thursday night with details on any Halloween crackdown.
LeBrun said Nassau police will take a “zero tolerance approach” to impaired and intoxicated drivers by boosting patrols on all roadways.
Last Halloween, troopers across the state handled 737 crashes and two fatalities, Cuomo’s office said.
State officials also cited statistics for that night from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found 52 percent of all highway deaths nationwide involved a driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. In New York, that’s considered to be driving while intoxicated.
“Time and time again, we have seen this holiday become the date of avoidable tragedies caused by dangerous, reckless and unacceptable behavior behind the wheel,” Cuomo said in a news release.
Officials advised people to plan a way to get home before starting festivities and warned also against walking impaired, saying that can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.