Hudson Valley motorists planning to celebrate the Independence Day holiday with a few libations should exercise caution before getting behind the wheel as state police increase patrols to crack down on drunk or drugged driving in New York.
In an effort to curtail impaired drivers, New York State Police troopers are teaming with local law enforcement agencies as part of the STOP-DWI initiative, which will see sobriety checkpoints, speeding and seat belt enforcement details spread throughout the state.
Last year, state police issued nearly 11,000 tickets during Independence Day weekend, with more than 200 people arrested for DWI and 756 crashes, which resulted in three fatalities.
Police said that during the enforcement, drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. Troopers 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. State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the July 4th period in 2015,146 people died nationwide in alcohol-related crashes. Two-thirds of those crashes involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 percent or higher which is almost twice the legal limit.
In an effort to help Hudson Valley residents, state police issued a series of common sense tips:
- 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 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 where they are going safely.
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