Albany, NY - January 31, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a statewide crackdown on impaired and reckless driving during Super Bowl weekend. The New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will implement the campaign, which includes underage drinking enforcement, increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify, and arrest impaired drivers. The campaign will be promoted on various message boards on highways across the state, including the New York State Thruway, and runs from Saturday, February 4 until 4 a.m. Monday, February 6.
"This Super Bowl weekend, I urge all New Yorkers to keep their celebrations off the road and make responsible choices to avoid needless tragedies,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have zero tolerance for reckless and impaired driving, and our troopers and local law enforcement agencies will be out in force to keep our roadways safe.”
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 2016 Super Bowl campaign, State Police arrested 92 people for impaired driving and issued more than 4,686 total tickets. Additionally, crackdowns by local law enforcement resulted in more than 103 DWI and DWAI arrests, 9 DWAI drug-only arrests, 100 other arrests, and nearly 1,341 tickets being issued.
State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Unlike the Super Bowl, there are no winners when someone makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired. If you are going to be drinking, have a game plan to get home safely. Safety is our top priority and we will be looking for dangerous and impaired drivers to prevent them from causing senseless tragedies. If you’re celebrating, do your part and celebrate responsibly. Don’t drive impaired.”
Terri Egan, Acting GTSC Chair and DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner, said, “The Super Bowl is a great American tradition. We want all New Yorkers to be able to enjoy good football with their friends and family, and not have their weekend marred by a senseless tragedy caused by a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol. If you’re going out to see the big game and plan on drinking, please leave the keys at home or better yet, come up with your own transportation game plan through our ‘Have a Plan’ mobile app.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 10,265 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes. 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. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that of the traffic fatalities among children ages 14 and younger in 2014, 19 percent occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, and 28 people die each day in alcohol-related vehicle crashes, which is one person every 53 minutes.
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 a way to even report a suspected impaired driver.