Director of Public Information
The New York State Police will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired and reckless driving throughout this Memorial Day weekend. The STOP-DWI enforcement period starts on Friday, May 22, and runs through Tuesday, May 26. State Police and our local law enforcement partners will be out in force to remove impaired and reckless drivers from our highways.
State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “As we take time this Memorial Day to honor those who died in service to our county, we remind motorists to make safety the top priority. If your holiday plans include alcohol, please arrange for a safe ride home. Driving impaired is a choice that often has serious and even deadly consequences. State Troopers will be highly visible this weekend, and will have zero tolerance for impaired, reckless and distracted drivers.”
Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols during this holiday weekend. 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. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. Troopers will also conduct an underage drinking enforcement detail.
According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) at the University at Albany, drunk driving killed 295 people and injured 5,340 others in New York State during 2018. Another 314 people were killed in drug-related crashes.
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, “As we remember our fallen heroes this Memorial Day, we can honor their sacrifices by protecting one another through responsible driving. It is more important than ever that we all do our part to spare our hospitals from avoidable emergencies. Remember to have a plan to get home safely. If you are driving, put your phone away, avoid distractions, and follow the rules of the road.”
This initiative is partially funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to even report a suspected impaired driver.
On Memorial Day weekend in 2019, Troopers arrested 225 people for drinking and driving, issued 13,693 total tickets, and investigated 134 personal injury crashes, which resulted in four fatalities. In addition to the New York State Police, numerous counties and agencies throughout the state also participate in the annual Memorial Day Crackdown.