The New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies statewide will crack down on impaired driving during Super Bowl weekend from Saturday, February 6 until midnight, February 8. The STOP-DWI campaign will include underage drinking enforcement, along with increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify, and arrest impaired drivers.
While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the number of drinking and driving fatalities, too many lives are still being lost because of crashes caused by impaired drivers. During the 2015 campaign, State Police made 31 impaired driving arrests and issued more than 1,000 tickets. Additionally, county crackdowns resulted in more than 100 DWI and DWAI arrests, five DWAI drug-only arrests, 82 other arrests, and nearly 1,100 tickets being issued.
The campaign will be promoted on various message boards on highways across the state, including the New York State Thruway. The enforcement initiative is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Make the winning decision on Super Bowl weekend and don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Driving while impaired can result in tragic consequences for you, your passengers and others on the road. State Police will be visible this weekend looking for drunk drivers, and if you make the wrong choice, odds are that you will be arrested.”
An impaired driving conviction carries a maximum fine of $10,000, up to seven years in prison and license revocation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, 9,967 people in the U.S. were killed in crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher – 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. Drivers should remember that they are putting not only their lives, but the lives of others, in jeopardy when they choose to drink and drive: NHTSA reports that of the traffic fatalities among children 14 and younger in 2014, 19 percent occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
If you are hosting, designate a responsible driver in advance to help your guests get home safely.
· Ask all of your guests to designate their sober drivers ahead of time, or help them arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers. If you don’t drink, offer to drive guests home.
· Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
· Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter—this is a good time to serve coffee and dessert.
· Sign up online for a ride sharing service and keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from any guests who are thinking of driving after drinking.
· Remember, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash that night, you could be held liable.
· If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or guardian can be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.