Director of Public Information
The New York State Police and local law enforcement will increase patrols to target impaired driving and underage drinking this Halloween weekend. The special traffic enforcement campaign started on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, and runs until Noon on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.
State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “One bad decision can turn fun Halloween celebrations into a nightmare. Children will be out walking after dark and drivers need to exercise extreme caution. Never drink and drive. Troopers and our local law enforcement partners will be out in force making sure this Halloween is a safe one on the roads."
DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, “The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee is proud to support this initiative that will help ensure safety on our roads. Halloween should be a fun time with your family and friends. Don’t let that be ruined by making the reckless decision to drive impaired.”
Motorists can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols during this period. Law enforcement will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles stopped on the side of the road. State Police will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors through underage drinker enforcement details statewide.
Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
Halloween night can be an especially dangerous due to the high number of children and families out trick-or-treating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that from 2015 to 2019, 126 people were killed nationwide in impaired driving fatalities on Halloween night. According to NHTSA, 41% of the motor vehicle fatalities on Halloween night involved impaired drivers.
During last year’s Halloween initiative, State Troopers arrested 166 people for impaired driving and issued 7,922 total tickets. Troopers also investigated 634 crashes, which resulted in one fatality.
The Halloween impaired driving enforcement initiative is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.
If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000. Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.
The New York State Police, GTSC and NHTSA recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi or ride sharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- Use your community’s sober ride program;
- If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement;
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.