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The Tri-State Traffic Safety Partners today announced it will join nearly 10,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide in support of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which will be an intensive crackdown on impaired driving that runs from Aug. 17 through Labor Day, Sept. 3.
The Tri-State Traffic Safety Partners, a coalition of state traffic safety agencies and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says virtually every police agency in the metro New York area will be participating, including the New York City Police Department and State Police in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Police throughout the area will be aggressively looking for all impaired drivers during thecrackdown and will arrest anyone they find driving while impaired—regardless of age, vehicle type or time of day.
Although data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the numberof alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in America has been falling, traffic safety officials say the numbers are still too high. In 2010, 10,228 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle operator was at or above a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .08, which is the legal limit in all 50 states. During the busy Labor Day holiday weekend alone, 147 people died in DWI-related crashes.
According to the latest data, impaired driving fatalities accounted for nearly 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut—364 in New York, 153 in New Jersey and 121 in Connecticut. Nationally, the age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities nationally was 21-to-24.
“All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life," said New York State DMV Commissionerand Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Barbara Fiala. "Because we're committed to ending the carnage, we are intensifying enforcement during the crackdown. Twice as many alcohol-impaired crashes occur over the weekend and four times as many occur at night, so police will be especially vigilant during these high-risk times.”
“Our message is simple and unwavering: if law enforcement finds you driving impaired, they will arrest you. No exceptions,” said Fiala. “Even if you beat the odds and manage to walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can still destroy your life. The fine is only the beginning.”
Officials estimate the cost of a DWI arrest in the New York metro area at more than $8,250. Violators often face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Their insurance rates go up. Other costs include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of job or job prospects.
Violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.
As the summer winds down, traffic safety officials remind all motorists to “drive sober or getpulled over.”
For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.