The New York State Police and local law enforcement will increase patrols to crack down on impaired driving and underage drinking through Halloween.
The enforcement campaign runs from Friday, October 26 through Thursday, November 1, 2018, and is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
Drivers who are traveling this weekend can expect a number of sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols. Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel.
Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road. State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors through underage drinker enforcement details statewide.
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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to the high number of impaired drivers on the roads. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 168 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night. Children out trick-or-treating, and those who accompany them, are also at risk, as 14 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night (2012-2016) involved drunk drivers.
During last year’s initiative there were 1,593 accidents, more than 226 of which resulted in someone being injured. One person was killed. Troopers also arrested 248 people for DWI and issued more than 9, 057 tickets for speeding, distracted driving and other traffic violations.
If you plan to head out and celebrate Halloween, NHTSA offers these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
- Use your community’s sober ride program
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.