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Police across LI to look for drunken drivers during New Year's holiday

Nassau, Suffolk and state police are increasing drunken-driving enforcement throughout Long Island for the New Year's holiday, officials said Tuesday.

Nassau and Suffolk police plan stepped-up patrols Wednesday night. State Police officials will staff a DWI checkpoint in Babylon tonight and conduct undercover stings by sending police operatives who are under 21 into bars and liquor stores to buy alcohol on the East End, officials said.

"New Year's Eve is typically one of the biggest party nights of the year," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said in a statement. "We will be targeting drunk drivers and looking to prevent the kind of senseless, alcohol-related accidents that, unfortunately, often occur during a holiday. There will be additional police patrols all around Nassau County and chances are if you drive drunk at any point over New Year's Eve, you will be arrested."

Suffolk police also have stepped up DWI enforcement during the holiday season, announcing last month increased patrols, including a "zero-tolerance approach for anyone driving under the influence and placing the public in danger."

Nassau's STOP-DWI program allocates additional police officers to conduct "saturation enforcement," officials said. The department's Highway Patrol Bureau will coordinate the effort, which will consist of road blocks and about 10 to 14 additional patrols, acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said.

Trooper Frank Bandiero, a spokesman for the State Police's Farmingdale barracks, said police are holding a checkpoint in Babylon from about 10 Wednesday night to 3 a.m. Thursday. Additionally, State Police are conducting undercover operations in the Town of Riverhead Wednesday.

"We're always vigilant, especially on New Year's Eve," Bandiero said.

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