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State, Suffolk police to increase patrols in Halloween crackdown

State Police will increase patrols in a Halloween weekend crackdown on drunken drivers and underage drinking.

A special traffic enforcement detail began Friday and continues through Sunday, according to the State Police and the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

"Halloween can be fun, but it can also turn tragic if people get behind the wheel after drinking," State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said in a news release. "Troopers will be out in force making sure this Halloween is a safe one on the roads."

Motorists can expect sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols, officials said. Troopers also will conduct a special enforcement detail geared toward the sale of alcohol to minors.

"It's simple: If you're planning to drink, use public transportation or a designated driver," Cuomo said. "I urge New Yorkers to make the right choice this weekend so that everyone can have a safe and happy Halloween."

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that from 2009 to 2013 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide on Halloween night were in crashes involving drunken drivers. The study includes crashes from 6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1.

Trick-or-treaters, their friends and loved ones are also at risk on Halloween night, with 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes in that same five-year period involving drunken drivers.

The Suffolk County Police Department is also planning to beef up Halloween patrols, with extra uniformed and plainclothes officers on duty.

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