The New York State Police and local agencies will join a national initiative to crack down on impaired driving this holiday season.
The national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began Thursday, Dec. 13, and will run through Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.
Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints, along with more troopers on roadways during this campaign.
“Traffic safety is once again a top priority this season, with the goal of making everyone’s holiday a safe one. If you’re celebrating, please do so responsibly,” said Superintendent George Beach. “Impaired drivers cause needless deaths and injuries. Have a plan and you could save a life – maybe even your own.”
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 drinker enforcement details statewide.
During the campaign, troopers will be using marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of the operation. CITE vehicles allow the trooper to better observe distracted driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic, but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
During last year’s crackdown, State Police issued 40,489 tickets. Of those tickets more than 13,394 were for speeding, 1,268 were for distracted driving and 571 for the “Move Over Law.”
There were also 645 people arrested for DWI and 10 people killed in motor vehicle crashes.
This traffic enforcement campaign is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
“It’s important New Yorkers remember that impaired driving is risky behavior that puts you and others sharing the road in danger and is absolutely avoidable,” said Terri Egan, commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles and acting chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. “Before going out to celebrate with family and friends, make a plan for getting home safely. Choose a designated driver or download our free ‘Have a Plan’ mobile app that will connect you to your area’s ridesharing or taxi services.”
The Have a Plan app is free from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the state STOP-DWI Foundation. It allows you to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. You can also use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.
Here are some tips to help keep the roads safe during the holiday season:
- Plan a safe way home before the celebrating begins;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi or ridesharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver 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 their destination safely.