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GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES STATE POLICE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TO CRACK DOWN ON DRUNK AND DRUGGED DRIVING DURING FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND

Troopers and Local Law Enforcement to Target Impaired and Reckless Drivers through the Holiday Weekend

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will increase patrols to crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions this Fourth of July.  State Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide to keep New York highways safe during what is considered the biggest travel weekend of the summer. The campaign, which is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022, and run through 3 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.   

“State Police and local law enforcement agencies will once again be out in force on New York’s roadways this holiday weekend,” Governor Hochul said. “We want New Yorkers to have fun celebrating the Fourth of July, but we also want them to do so responsibly. We have zero tolerance for drivers whose reckless actions endanger the lives of others and will hold those who do so accountable.”  

New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “The Fourth of July is known for its fun and fireworks, but New Yorkers should also remember that making the wrong decision to drive while impaired can result in tragedy. If your celebrations include alcohol, plan for a safe ride home, and if you’re travelling this weekend, remember to put down the phone, follow posted speed limits, and always put safety first.”  

Last year, the State Police issued 10,238 traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend. Troopers arrested 195 people for DWI and investigated 648 crashes, including two fatalities.   

During this enforcement period, drivers can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and increased DWI patrols. Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road when they travel New York roadways.   

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow Troopers to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.   

DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, “Independence Day is a wonderful day to celebrate with family and friends, especially when it is part of a long weekend. We want everyone to celebrate safely, so please have a plan if you will be drinking and do not drive impaired.”   

The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.   

If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, but you could also face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000. Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work. 

 

The New York State Police, GTSC and NHTSA recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:   

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins. 
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver. 
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. 
  • Use your community’s sober ride program. 
  • If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement. 
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.