Troopers to execute DWI crackdown

New York State Police will be on high alert for drunk and impaired drivers during Super Bowl weekend and beyond.

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday state police are partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the state to crack down on impaired and reckless driving during Super Bowl weekend.

"The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the entire year, and I am encouraging New Yorkers to enjoy it responsibly," Cuomo said Friday. "It is simple: If you are drinking, do not get behind the wheel. New York has zero tolerance for drunk driving, and our police will be aggressively enforcing the law this weekend to keep New Yorkers safe."

State officials said the STOP-DWI campaign will include underage drinking enforcement, along with increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify, and arrest impaired drivers. The Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 enforcement initiative is funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.

Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows Oswego County as the only county in New York to appear in the top ten for number of fatal DUIs, percentage of fatal DUI accidents and number of fatal DUI accidents per 10,000 residents — making it the New York county with the highest risk of being killed by a drunk driver.

The STOP-DWI efforts across the state have led to significant reductions in the number of drinking and driving fatalities, according to state officials, while drunk driving fatalities have fallen by roughly 30 percent over the last three decades.

State police in 2019 arrested 139 people for impaired driving and issued 7,891 tickets during the 2019 Super Bowl campaign.

State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said state troopers would be highly visible throughout the weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers and other reckless driving behaviors.

“If your celebrations include alcohol, make a game plan now for a safe ride home,” Corlett said. “Don't jeopardize your life or the lives of others by driving impaired."

According to the NHTSA, 10,511 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2018. NHTSA reports that 30 people die each day in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. Nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2018 were caused by drunk driving.

State officials urge anyone hosting guests during the Super Bowl to designate a responsible driver in advance to help your guests get home safely, and provided the following list of suggestions:

• Ask all of your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them arrange ridesharing 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 ridesharing service or 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.

• The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation 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 an option to report a suspected impaired driver.

• 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.