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Gov. Cuomo Announces Crackdown on Impaired
and Distracted Driving Over Thanksgiving Holiday


November 26, 2019   12:30 p.m.
    Press Release from Governor Cuomo's Office:

    GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES CRACKDOWN ON IMPAIRED AND
    DISTRACTED DRIVING OVER THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

    Law Enforcement Will Also Target Speeding and Move Over Law Violations

    More than 15,100 tickets issued and 215 people arrested for DWI statewide
    during last year's enforcement

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police
    and local law enforcement agencies will participate in a special traffic
    enforcement initiative to crack down on unsafe driving behaviors during the
    upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. The special traffic enforcement period runs from
    Wednesday, November 27 through Sunday, December 1, 2019.

    "Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year and our focus is
    helping ensure everyone gets where they need to go safely so they can spend
    quality time with family and loved ones," Governor Cuomo said. "State Troopers
    and local law enforcement will be highly visible in the coming days, cracking
    down on impaired and reckless drivers - and I urge drivers to follow the law and
    make safety your top priority while out on the roads."

    The State Police will supplement regular patrols statewide, including fixed
    sobriety checkpoints, underage drinking enforcement and the "Operation Hang
    Up" initiative, which targets distracted drivers by utilizing Concealed Identity
    Traffic Enforcement patrol vehicles to better locate drivers talking or texting on
    hand held devices. These unmarked vehicles blend in with every day traffic but
    are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is
    activated.

    Very high traffic volumes typically occur during the Thanksgiving holiday
    weekend. It is also a time when alcohol consumption is widespread. During the
    2018 Thanksgiving holiday period, troopers arrested 215 drivers for DWI, issued
    5,834 speeding tickets, 774 tickets for distracted driving, and 218 tickets for
    move over law violations.

    New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "During this
    Thanksgiving holiday weekend I encourage all New Yorkers to make safety their
    top priority. If your celebrations include alcohol, plan ahead to ensure you have a
    safe ride home. There's simply no excuse to get behind the wheel if you're
    impaired, and State Troopers will have zero tolerance. Make the right choice and
    avoid the senseless tragedies caused by impaired driving."

    Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair and Department of Motor Vehicles
    Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "The Governor's Traffic Safety
    Committee is proud to support law enforcement in this life-saving initiative. We
    want everyone to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday and not have
    their celebration ended by an avoidable tragedy. We urge motorists to never
    drink and drive or speed and to always avoid distractions. By making the choice
    to drive responsibly, you will spare yourself a potential ticket or arrest and, more
    importantly, you will help reduce needless deaths and injuries on our roadways.
    The life you save could be your own."

    The Thanksgiving impaired driving enforcement initiative is 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, Android 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.

    If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at
    risk, you could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. 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, and lost time at work.

    The New York State Police, GTSC and National Highway Traffic Safety
    Administration recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi or ride sharing service, call a sober friend or
    family member, or use public transportation;
  • Use your community's sober ride program;
  • If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired 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.