The enforcement initiative was announced by both New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York State Police on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and will run between Wednesday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Nov. 26.
During this time, state police troopers will supplement regular patrols across the state, implement fixed sobriety checkpoints, and also use Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement patrol vehicles to watch out for drivers distracted by handheld devices.
The increase in enforcement will come during a time of elevated traffic volume resulting from the Thanksgiving holiday. It is certainly not without good reason, as during the Thanksgiving 2022 holiday period, troopers arrested 213 drivers for DWI, issued 4,757 speeding tickets, and issued 425 distracted driving tickets.
"The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and our goal is to ensure that everyone gets where they need to go safely," said Hochul, who also added, "State Troopers and local law enforcement will be out in force working to prevent needless accidents. I urge drivers to follow the rules of the road and make safety your top priority while traveling this holiday season.”
In addition to causing injury and death, drunk driving can also prove to be a costly affair. According to state police, the average drinking and driving arrest results in costs of up to $10,000.
Those caught drunk or drugged driving can also lose their license, face higher insurance rates, and several unexpected expenses from attorney fees, fines, and court costs, in addition to lost time at work, police said.
State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick Chiumento advised residents to come up with a plan to get home ahead of time before they start celebrating the holiday.
"If you’re celebrating with alcohol, I encourage you to designate a sober driver and plan for a safe ride home," Chiumento said.
He continued, "Every year there are preventable tragedies and a wake of victims left behind because of the decisions made by reckless and impaired drivers. As we drive throughout the state to see our family and friends this holiday season, we need to make safe driving imperative."
In addition to the crackdown from police, temporary road and bridge closures on highways in New York will be suspended from 6 a.m. on Wednesday through 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 27.
Additionally, the 12 New York highway service areas will be closed. Fuel services at each location will remain open, though.
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