Press Release - 08-12-2022


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Friday, August 12, 2022


Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Enforcement Campaign to Run from August 19 Through September 5

Impaired Driving Crashes Increased 11 Percent from 2020 to 2021

Per County, Suffolk and Nassau Had Most Impaired Driving Fatalities in 2021 

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today warned of a spike in impaired driving crashes and announced the upcoming statewide STOP-DWI "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

The New York State Police and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols to target impaired driving from August 19 through September 5. The campaign is designed to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes. According to data from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, police-reported impaired driving crashes in New York increased 11 percent from 2020 to 2021.

“As you prepare your end of summer plans with family and friends, make sure you have a plan to get to your destination safely,” DMV Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said. “Impaired driving is a reckless, costly, all-too-often deadly decision that puts all those sharing the road in danger. I urge all drivers and passengers to be smart and have a plan.

To kick off the education and equitable enforcement campaign, a press event was held today at the New York State Welcome Center on the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County. GTSC and DMV officials were joined by state and local enforcement. Long Island was chosen for this event because Suffolk and Nassau County were ranked number one and two, respectively, for the most impaired driving fatalities per county in the state for 2021.

Throughout this campaign, law enforcement will be stepping up patrols, and the NYS Thruway Authority and State Department of Transportation will have Variable Message Signs alerting motorists to the consequences of impaired driving to help deter this dangerous behavior. During the 2021 enforcement campaign, law enforcement throughout the state arrested 2,586 people for impaired driving and issued 94,075 tickets for other vehicle and traffic law violations, such as speeding and distracted driving.

New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “A common threat on our roads, and one we continually fight, is impaired driving. While we want everyone to enjoy the final weeks of summer, we want them to do so responsibly. If your Labor Day celebrations include alcohol, plan ahead to ensure you have a safe ride home. There’s simply no excuse to get behind the wheel if you’re impaired, and the State Police will have zero tolerance.”

New York State Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Patrick Phelan said,“ It is more important now than ever that police agencies focus their efforts on traffic enforcement.  With traffic fatalities on the rise, proper traffic enforcement measures can and will save lives.”

Livingston County Sheriff and President of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association Thomas Dougherty said, “When you drive impaired you are making a deadly choice, a choice that can hurt you, your passengers, and other people on the road.  The Sheriffs of New York State want you to enjoy Labor Day and the end of summer but in a smart way by having a plan to not drive impaired.”

A major component of New York's efforts to combat impaired driving is the STOP-DWI program. STOP-DWI stands for "Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated." The state's STOP-DWI program is the nation's first self-sustaining impaired driving program. The program's efforts are funded from fines paid by convicted impaired drivers. Importantly, the program's coordinators are comprised of diverse professional backgrounds, including law enforcement and non-law enforcement.

 The STOP-DWI program was created to empower counties to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes. All 62 counties have opted to participate. Some examples of programs funded by STOP-DWI are: specially trained police units dedicated to DWI enforcement, hiring of special prosecutors and probation officers to handle the caseload, monitoring ignition interlock devices, supporting rehabilitation services, and developing public information and education campaigns tailored to communities within their respective regions. To learn more, visit

In addition to STOP-DWI, the GTSC supports training for Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). DREs are specially trained officers utilized by law enforcement when a driver appears to be impaired, but police have ruled out alcohol as the cause or sole cause of impairment. A DRE receives extensive training that has been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The training allows officers to observe and document signs and indicators of impairment within each of seven drug categories including illicit and prescription drugs.

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