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Suffolk to boost police presence on roads, shopping areas

Drunken drivers beware: An Islandwide crackdown targeting intoxicated

Drunken drivers beware: An Islandwide crackdown targeting intoxicated motorists is set to begin Wednesday night as people gather to celebrate the holiday weekend. Credit: Newsday/Alan Raia

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk Police Commissioner Edward Webber have announced plans for "high visibility patrol and enforcement" on roads and in shopping centers -- not just this weekend but through the year's end.

"Officers will be on foot, bicycle and vehicle patrols in downtowns and shopping areas to increase safety and security and assist with crowd control if necessary," Bellone and Webber said in a statement. Auxiliary police officers and officers from the canine and emergency service sections and the highway patrol bureau will also be used, they said.

Suffolk County police will also take a "zero-tolerance approach for anyone driving under the influence and placing the public in danger," according to the statement. Besides enhanced patrols, checkpoints will be set to focus on drivers who may be drunk or violating seat belt and cellphone laws, officials said.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced increased enforcement Monday. So far this year, more than 1,800 DWI arrests have been made in Nassau, Mangano said.

Both counties will use grant money to pay for the extra officers. Nassau will also use overtime money. With John Valenti

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