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Monday, August 24, 2015
ENP STAFF REPORTS
news@eastniagarapost.com


ALBANY — New York State Police will ramp up enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on impaired driving now through Labor Day, Sept. 7. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is aimed at significantly reducing deaths and injuries caused by motorists driving drunk or impaired by drugs.

"Driving drunk is both reckless and selfish, and we have seen too far too many avoidable tragedies that occurred after someone got behind the wheel when they shouldn’t have,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I urge all New Yorkers to drive responsibly, and want everyone to know that impaired driving will not be tolerated in this state.”

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee 2014 annual report found that while the number of alcohol-related crash injuries were down in New York State by nearly 800 over a five-year period starting in 2009, 364 people were killed in such crashes in 2013 and about 30 percent of New York’s crash fatalities are alcohol-related. Additionally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,076 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher 2013.

In New York State, .08 percent BAC is the legal threshold for driving while intoxicated, but many offenders are arrested at nearly twice that level: statewide, the average BAC of those arrested for alcohol-impaired driving is more than .14. Alcohol, however, is just one substance contributing to traffic fatalities. Drugs other than alcohol, such as marijuana and cocaine, are a factor in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

On November 1, 2014, even stronger penalties were enacted in New York to deter impaired driving. Drivers convicted of DWI or DWAI three or more times in 15 years face a Class D felony charge, up to seven years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000.

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said, “Driving while impaired is a bad decision that often results in injury, death and heartache. We encourage people to enjoy these final few weeks of summer, but please make the right decision and drive sober. State Troopers and our law enforcement partners work each and every day to keep impaired drivers off our roads, and anyone who is caught driving after drinking or using drugs will be arrested.”

New York’s anti-impaired driving enforcement campaigns are funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and STOP-DWI, a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining highway safety program that allows participating counties to qualify for the return of all fines collected for alcohol and other drug-related traffic offenses.



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