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'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' initiative starts Friday, lasts through Labor Day weekend

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a news conference

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a news conference at his Manhattan office on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Be warned.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and State Police have announced a statewide crackdown on drunken drivers, beginning Friday and running through Labor Day -- an initiative aimed at getting impaired drivers off the roads.

It is anticipated that both Nassau and Suffolk police, in addition to other local agencies, will participate in the 20-day long end-of-summer campaign called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

The goal, the governor's office said in a statement, is "aimed at significantly reducing deaths and injuries caused by motorists driving drunk or impaired by drugs."

The average blood-alcohol content of drivers caught driving while impaired is .14 percent, almost twice the legal threshold of .08 percent.

"Driving drunk is both reckless and selfish, and we have seen far too many avoidable tragedies that occurred after someone got behind the wheel when they shouldn't have," Cuomo said in a statement.

The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee 2014 annual report found that while the number of alcohol-related crash injuries was down statewide by almost 800 during a five-year period starting in 2009, about 30 percent of all crash-related fatalities statewide are alcohol-related. More than 10,000 were killed nationwide in drunken driving crashes in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Drugs other than alcohol, like marijuana and cocaine, are factors in about 18 percent of all motor vehicle driver deaths, the NHTSA found.

In June, Cuomo announced that the state had kept more than 7,500 repeat offenders off the road since implementing tougher DWI standards in September 2012. Those individuals, who had three or more alcohol or drug-related offenses on their records, were denied re-licensing either permanently or for an additional five years, the governor said.

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