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Friday, October 30, 2015

Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Police, as well as local and county law enforcement agencies, will increase patrols to crack down on drunk driving and underage drinking this Halloween weekend. The special traffic enforcement detail will begin today and continue through Sunday.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009 to 2013, 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes across the U.S. on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 – 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) were in crashes involving a drunk driver. Trick-or-treaters, their friends and loved ones are also at risk on Halloween night, with 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes (2009-2013) involving drunk drivers. As Halloween falls on a Saturday night this year, state and local law enforcement will be out in full force and extra vigilant in their efforts to protect families and their loved ones on New York’s roads.

“This weekend, we are ramping up our enforcement efforts in order to prevent needless tragedies and keep people safe,” said Governor Cuomo. “It’s simple: if you’re planning to drink, use public transportation or a designated driver. I urge New Yorkers to make the right choice this weekend so that everyone can have a safe and happy Halloween.”

Motorists that are traveling this weekend can expect to see a number of sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols. Troopers will also conduct a special enforcement detail to crack down on the sale of alcohol to minors.

State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Halloween can be fun, but it can also turn tragic if people get behind the wheel after drinking. Children will be out walking after dark and drivers need to exercise extreme caution. Never drink and drive. Troopers will be out in force making sure this Halloween is a safe one on the roads."

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order 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 every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. The initiative is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

“We want this and every Halloween to be a fun time that creates happy memories, and not see it marred by needless tragedy,” said Chuck DeWeese, Assistant Commissioner for the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. “Drive safely if you are going out, as there will be children trick or treating into the evening. If you’re going to a Halloween party and plan to drink, have a designated driver or make other arrangements for getting home safely. Let’s make this a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.”

During last year’s Halloween initiative there were more than 720 crashes that killed three people and injured more than 150 others. Troopers arrested 195 people for DWI and issued more than 9,700 tickets for speeding, distracted driving and other traffic violations. Choosing to drive drunk can ruin or end your life or someone else’s. This Halloween, if you drink and drive, you may face jail time, the loss of your license, higher insurance rates, and many other unanticipated expenses. An impaired driving charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000.

The New York State Police and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee ask that you to follow these easy steps to enjoy a safe Halloween without jeopardizing lives on the road.

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
  • Before you start drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home. 
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program 
  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement. You could save a life.

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