Cuomo announces crackdown on impaired driving for St. Patrick’s Day

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the New York State Police, State Liquor Authority, State Department of Motor Vehicles and local law enforcement launched an enforcement campaign to crack down on impaired drivers during the week of St. Patrick’s Day.

The campaign includes a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, and a detail to crackdown on underage drinking and sales to minors.

“State Police and local law enforcement are out in full force to stop irresponsible, reckless driving and protect New Yorkers this St. Patrick’s Day,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This comprehensive campaign will ramp up statewide enforcement efforts, hold impaired drivers accountable and crack down on underage drinking to keep our roadways safe and avoid needless tragedies.”

In addition to the enforcement campaign, State Police will be ticketing distracted drivers using handheld electronic devices. Investigators from the state Department of Motor Vehicles will also be conducting underage drinking and fake ID prevention operations in cooperation with the state Liquor Authority. SLA investigators will focus on sales to intoxicated patrons, disorderly premises and licensees that illegally allow patrons to take alcohol to go.

During the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day weekend enforcement effort, troopers made 257 arrests for DWI and issued more than 17,000 tickets. In addition, local law enforcement agencies, encompassing 39 counties and 140 agencies, participated in the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day crackdown, which resulted in 128 DWI/DWAI arrests, 14 DWAI-drug only arrests, 143 other arrests, and 1,802 vehicle and traffic summonses.

The traffic enforcement is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, which recently launched a PSA playing on broadcast TV stations across the state to encourage New Yorkers to drive responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day. The PSA is also running in all 27 Thruway travel plazas and on 25 screens in state-operated DMV offices.

Additionally, the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation and GTSC “Have a Plan” mobile app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and to program a designated driver list. The app, which is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones, also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “The State Police and local law enforcement will be vigilant in their patrols throughout the state this St. Patrick’s Day. If you drink and drive, there will be serious consequences. There is nothing wrong with celebrating as long as you celebrate responsibly. If you are going to be drinking this St. Patrick’s Day, have a plan and designate a sober driver. By planning ahead, you can prevent a senseless tragedy and help us keep New York roadways among the safest in the nation.”