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Labor Day campaign targets impaired drivers

Sep 04, 2015 6:24 am
Nia Hamm is reporting for Public News Service state and local police departments in New York are cracking down on impaired drivers for the Labor Day weekend. "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" is part of a national effort to reduce accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Richard Mallow is executive director of the New York State chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It's located in Suffolk County, which leads every other county in the nation in the highest number of alcohol-related car accidents. "Anytime you have more officers out on the roads specifically looking for drunk and impaired drivers, it sends a message," he says. "And that's what we have to consistently do – send the message that if you do this, you're going to get arrested." Mallow says the state can do more to crack down on impaired drivers, including strengthening existing laws that penalize them. The campaign runs through the Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday. The number of fatal alcohol-related crashes in New York has fallen by about 800 in the last five years but about 30 percent of them still are alcohol-related, and the numbers tend to increase nationally during the Labor day weekend. New York State Police spokesman is Beau Duffy. "The timing is targeted late summer and at Labor Day weekend in order to, you know, get the message out that people need to put away their keys and get a ride if they've been drinking and if they have to drive, don't drink," says Duffy. In 2013, 364 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Traffic Safety Committee 2014 annual report.

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