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Long IslandCrime

More DWI arrests, tickets this New Year’s weekend, police say

Officers from the Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol

Officers from the Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol Bureau and New York State Police conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Route 347 in Smithtown on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

Police across Long Island continued drunken driving enforcement through Saturday morning, ending the holiday with more arrests and tickets issued than last year.

Suffolk County police reported making 20 DWI arrests from 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 8 a.m. New Year’s Day, with another two arrests made and three summonses issued Friday into Saturday morning.

A total of 564 vehicles passed through Suffolk police’s sobriety checkpoint at the ShopRite Shopping Center, 335 Rte. 347, Hauppauge, on Friday night, and police credited increased patrols with helping to make a higher number of DWI stops. Suffolk police reported that 12 New Year’s DWI arrests were made last year.

The Suffolk arrests included a Ronkonkoma man who police said struck a bicyclist crossing against a red light in Islandia. Police said another drunken driver, an Elmont man, rear-ended a car on the Long Island Expressway in Melville on Friday morning, resulting in minor injuries for four people.

Friday night, a Holbrook woman was charged with driving while impaired by drugs; a Bronx man was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol; and three people were issued court summonses for drug possession.

Nassau County police made 17 arrests between 7 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 7 p.m. Friday. A spokeswoman said 12 arrests had been made the previous year between New Year’s Eve and 7 a.m. New Year’s Day, though she was not able to say whether any were made later in the day.

State Police said that between Nassau and Suffolk counties, they issued 12 tickets for DWI-related charges, six in each county.

A spokesman said two people were issued tickets on New Year’s Eve, eight were issued tickets on New Year’s Day and two were issued tickets early Saturday morning. It was unclear how many were issued the year before.

The DWI Task Force on the East End reported a decrease in arrests, however. With roving sobriety and safety checkpoints and increased patrols, the task force — Riverhead Police Department, Southold Police Department, Suffolk County police and State Police — made five arrests, down from 10 in 2015.

Riverhead police said they made one additional arrest on New Year’s Day, after the task force ceased patrols.

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