State troopers across New York arrested 783 people for drunken or high driving, and issued 48,877 tickets of various kinds, under a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign in the last 19 days of 2018 culminating on New Year’s, according to the State Police.

Between Dec. 13 and Jan. 1, the period of the blitz targeting impaired and reckless drivers, the troopers also investigated 643 crashes in which people were hurt and eight people died, State Police said in a news release.

In the troopers' 2017 iteration of the campaign, there were 667 arrests and 43,094 tickets, according to the release. That year’s campaign was shorter, though, lasting from Dec. 15 to Dec. 30, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, which funded the campaigns in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The federal agency's website warned motorists to “stay off the naughty list.”

New York's campaigns boosted patrols, including marked and unmarked units, and deployed sobriety checkpoints, according to the release. In the 2018 campaign, the tickets included:

  • 16,169 for speeding
  • 9,573 for distracted driving
  • 1,223 for failing to wear a seat belt
  • 437 for failing to slow down and move over for an emergency or hazard vehicle like a tow truck

The figures cover all of New York State and don’t include tickets issued and arrests made by other police forces. The figures also do not give the case dispositions.

In the Nassau County police district — which excludes jurisdictions in the county with their own police forces — there were 50 arrests for drunken or high driving during the Dec. 13 to Jan. 1 period, according to Nassau police spokesman Det. Vincent Garcia. 

In the Suffolk County police district — which also excludes jurisdictions with their own forces, such as those on the East End — there were 238 such arrests over the same period, according to an open-records request by Newsday fulfilled on Jan. 29.

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