“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Will Include Increased Patrols, Sobriety Checkpoints, and Higher Visibility Enforcement to Help Further Prevent Drunk Driving Crashes
Photo caption: Senator Fuschillo discusses the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Enhanced DWI Enforcement Campaign. He is joined by (left to right) Trooper Frank Bandiero, Town of Babylon Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Margaret Rebholz and Anneliese Bosco of MADD, Major Joseph Tripodo, Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Marge Lee of DEDICATEDD, and Danielle Rella of MADD.
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, and the New York State Police today announced that an enhanced DWI enforcement campaign will be kicking off this Friday, August 16th.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is part of an annual nationwide drunk driving crackdown between mid-August and Labor Day. Troopers throughout Long Island and New York State will be conducting higher-visibility enforcement, sobriety checkpoints, and increased patrols.
“Drunk driving ruins lives, which is why the State Police will be even more aggressive in removing drunk drivers from the roads through the end of the summer. New York State has some of the nation’s toughest drunk driving laws. Don’t find that out the hard way. Be safe, be smart, and don’t drink and drive,” said Senator Fuschillo.
Major Joseph Tripodo, New York State Police Troop L Commander, said "Senator Fuschillo has been a strong, passionate leader in the fight against drunk driving and has authored some of the toughest DWI laws in the country. During this nationwide initiative, the New York State Police will conduct sobriety checkpoints and have extra patrols dedicated to DWI enforcement across Long Island. It is through campaigns like "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and through enforcement that we will get the message out that driving drunk will not be tolerated on our roadways."
Senator Fuschillo and Major Tripodo reminded drivers of the severe consequences of drinking and driving. Drunk drivers potentially face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, required use of an ignition interlock, and steep financial consequences such as court imposed fines, higher insurance rates, and attorney fees.
Representatives from the anti-DWI advocacy organizations Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and DEDICATEDD joined Senator Fuschillo and the State Police in supporting the increased enforcement measures.
“As residents of Long Island enjoy these last few weeks of summer and start to prepare for the Labor Day holiday, signaling the end of summer, law enforcement officers will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Long Island endorses this type of law enforcement effort to deter would-be drunk drivers and reduce drunk driving injuries and fatalities. In fact, high visibility law enforcement is a key component of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®. Sobriety checkpoints deliver a very direct message that if you choose to drive drunk, you will be held accountable. The idea is to publicize checkpoints ahead of time, through events like the press conference taking place on August 14, 2013, in order to deter people from driving drunk and encourage them to plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver,” said Danielle Rella of MADD.
“Far too often the most severe consequence of drunk driving is the death of innocents. Drunk driving deaths are entirely preventable. The sole purpose of this campaign is to save lives. DEDICATEDD wishes to thank Senator Fuschillo for his leadership in the fight to end drunken driving. We also wish to thank our Troopers for being our first line of defense and taking intoxicated drivers off the road,” said Marge Lee, President and Co-Founder of DEDICATEDD.
Just last month, a new law Senator Fuschillo authored was signed to further enhance New York’s drunk driving laws by strengthening Leandra’s Law. The new law, which takes effect November 1st, will ensure more convicted drunk drivers use ignition interlocks. It will also make it more difficult for drivers to claim they will not operate a car, as well as enhance penalties for individuals who try to escape the law through fraud.
There were over 48,000 arrests for DWI in New York State in 2012, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.