ALBANY, NY — The New York State Police 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, Nov. 22, 2023, through Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento said,“Every year there are preventable tragedies and a wake of victims left behind because of the decisions made by reckless and impaired drivers. As we drive throughout the state to see our family and friends this holiday season, we need to make safe driving imperative. If you’re celebrating with alcohol, I encourage you to designate a sober driver and plan for a safe ride home. I thank the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for their support and collaboration on this pivotal enforcement. Our troopers remain committed to ensuring everyone’s safety and by motorists making the right choices, together we can prevent needless tragedies on our roadways.”
The State Police will supplement regular patrols statewide, including fixed sobriety checkpoints, which targets distracted drivers by utilizing Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) patrol vehicles to better locate drivers talking or texting on handheld devices. These unmarked vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
Elevated traffic volumes typically occur during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It is also a time when alcohol consumption is widespread. During the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period, troopers arrested 213 drivers for DWI, issued 4,757 speeding tickets, and 425 tickets for distracted driving.
The Thanksgiving impaired driving enforcement initiative is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). 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.