State Police to boost patrols for holiday season, target impaired drivers
The New York State Police have some tips to avoid getting pulled over this holiday season, as driving while impaired patrols shift into high gear as the holiday season arrives.
The department is participating in the “Drive High Get a DUI” national campaign and a New Year’s driving enforcement to crack down on impaired and reckless drivers.
From now until Jan. 1, drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints, along with more troopers on roadways during the campaign, a news release from the New York State Police said.
In addition to the DWI checkpoints and patrols, troopers will be watching for distracted drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up, and drivers violating the “Move Over Law,” which requires motorists to exercise extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped in or on the side of the road. State Police will also conduct underage drinking enforcement.
Robert Sinclair Jr., senior manager of public affairs for AAA Northeast, said Thursday evening that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites speeding, driving while impaired, distracted driving and not wearing seat belts for an increase over the last couple of years in fatalities and injuries.
"Any time there's any kind of safety problem on the road, it's said one of the three E's must be put into place: education, engineering or enforcement, and certainly this is the enforcement component."
A Suffolk County police spokesman said the department has already begun its extra DWI patrols for the holiday season.
State Police offered a few tips to prevent impaired driving: Before drinking, designate a sober driver; if impaired, use a taxi or ride-sharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation; use community sober ride programs; contact local law enforcement if you see a drunken driver on the road; and if you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
Troopers will use marked vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of the operation, the State Police release said.
During last year’s crackdown, State Police arrested 522 people for DWI and issued 35,016 tickets, including 12,285 tickets for speeding, 840 for distracted driving, and 289 for the “Move Over Law.” State Police also investigated 14 fatal crashes, the release said.