From August 19 until September 7, New York law enforcement agencies carried out Governor Andrew Como’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, in which they ramped up enforcement on impaired driving. The city released the results of that campaign on September 18. Throughout the entirety of the action, law enforcement “issued 3,262 tickets for impaired driving,” according to a release by the Governor’s Office, as well as “116,292 tickets for other vehicle and traffic law violations, such as speeding and distracted driving.”
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is coordinated in part by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, or GTSC, which carries it out several times each year in an effort “to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes.” The press release cites research by the Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College showing that campaigns like this one have reduced DWI-involved fatalities by “more than 19 percent from 2010 to 2019.”
The campaign is operated as part of the state’s “Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated,” or STOP-DWI program. All of New York’s 62 counties participate in STOP-DWI, which also offers funding for police units devoted to DWI enforcement, ignition interlock device monitoring, rehabilitation services, information and education campaigns, and the hiring of “special prosecutors and probation officers to handle the caseload.” The Governor’s office describes STOP-DWI as “the nation’s first and, to date, only self-sustaining impaired driving program.” It is sustained by fines paid by impaired drivers, and its coordinators “are comprised of diverse professional backgrounds, including law enforcement and non-law enforcement.” The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, meanwhile, also supports other traffic safety initiatives, such as training for law enforcement officers, resources for teenage drivers, and the promotion of seatbelt usage.
In a statement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “New York has zero tolerance for impaired driving and the results show reckless motorists will be caught and will be held accountable… Our message is simple: drive sober or plan for a safe ride home. Impaired driving puts you and all those sharing the road at risk—it’s just not worth it.”
Mark JF Schroeder, GTSC Chairman and Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, said in another statement: “This was another successful campaign where dangerous drivers were forced to realize the consequences of their actions, and I applaud our state and local law enforcement officers for their commitment to this important effort. There’s no excuse for impaired driving. Be smart. Drive sober or have a plan to get to your destination safely.” Finally, NYPD Superintendent Keith M. Corlett added: “”Our goal each day is to prevent impaired and reckless driving along with the needless deaths and injuries that often result. We will continue our enforcement and education efforts and improve highway safety for all New Yorkers.” More information is available via the Governor’s office here.
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