WATERTOWN — State police are set to increase patrols to crack down on drinking and drugged driving over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The crack-down campaign will run from Friday through Monday. Troopers will be using both marked state police vehicles and concealed identity traffic enforcement, or 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.
Last year, state police issued nearly 9,214 vehicle and traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend. Troopers arrested 180 people for DWI, as well as investigated 456 crashes and one fatality. 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, as well as lost time at work.
During this enforcement period, drivers can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and 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 state roadways.
The Fourth of July 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 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.
“Troopers will be out in force and highly visible this weekend, on the lookout for impaired, drugged, and reckless drivers,” New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said in a statement. “Our message is simple: If you drink and drive, you will be arrested. Stay safe and don’t make a bad decision that costs your life or the life of someone else.”