ALBANY, NY - State Police issued 1,643 tickets and arrested 22 people for DWI in Western New York over Memorial Day weekend, according to statistics released Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office.
The actions were part of a STOP-DWI traffic enforcement initiative that targeted impaired and reckless drivers between May 26 and 29.
"Cracking down on impaired and reckless drivers is critical to ensuring the safety of all motorists on our roadways,” Cuomo said. “Thanks to our dedicated law enforcement professionals, we were able to catch these dangerous drivers, get them off our roads, and help prevent avoidable tragedies."
During the 96-hour STOP-DWI campaign, which was partially funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the New York State Police and local law enforcement increased patrols and conducted sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify and arrest impaired drivers.
In all, State Troopers arrested 237 people for DWI and investigated 146 personal injury crashes which resulted in 190 people injured. As part of the enforcement, troopers also targeted speeding and aggressive drivers across the state.
In Western New York, State Police issued 474 tickets for speeding, 48 for distracted driving, 428 for failure to use child restraints or seat belts and 17 for violating the state’s Move Over law.
The results of this year’s campaign show that too many people are getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or impaired by drugs,” said State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II. “We will not stand for this behavior, and our Troopers will remain vigilant to remove these reckless individuals from our roadways."
Troopers used both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of this crackdown in order 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 traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.
“It is very disappointing to see that in this day and age, so many people still think it’s fine to drive impaired,” said Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the State Department of Motor Vehicles and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
“The message cannot be repeated often enough,” Egan said. “You put your life and the lives of others at risk every time you get behind the wheel impaired, no matter how short the distance or how familiar the roads. We will continue to vigorously enforce these laws this summer and all year long."
On Memorial Day weekend in 2016, troopers arrested 224 people for drinking and driving, and issued more than 11,946 tickets.