WATERTOWN — State police are increasing patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving throughout this Memorial Day weekend.

The special enforcement period started Friday and runs through Tuesday. Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year and police will be out in force to remove impaired and reckless drivers, a news release stated.

Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols by state police and local law enforcement agencies during this holiday weekend. Troopers will be using both marked state police vehicles and concealed identity traffic enforcement, or CITE, vehicles as part of this crackdown to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the trooper to better observe driving violations.

These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany, 251 people were killed and 5,151 were injured in drunk driving related crashes in 2019. Another 258 people were killed in drug-related crashes.

This initiative is partially funded by the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. 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 service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to even report a suspected impaired driver.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2020, troopers arrested 203 people for driving while impaired, issued 8,907 total tickets, and investigated 457 crashes, which resulted in two fatalities.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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