Crackdown On Wrong-Way DWI Begins On Long Island

Suffolk County Executive: You Will Got To Jail If Caught

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/CBS 2) — On Tuesday night police were launching a crackdown on wrong-way drivers following a series of incidents across Long Island.

When Colleen Rey Cassar’s father, John Rey, was hit by a wrong-way drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway on July 4 and spent 16 agonizing days in the hospital before he died, she had no idea so many other families would soon be in her situation.

“What’s happened in the six months since my father’s accident has been horrific,” Cassar told CBS 2’s John Metaxas. “Thanksgiving was difficult, the first holiday, and Christmas also, you know …”

But as the holidays approach, the wrong-way drunk driving incidents seem to be happening all too frequently — six on long island in the last month alone — and too many families have been left grieving.

“There will be consequences if you drink and drive. You will be caught and put in jail,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said.

On Tuesday Levy announced beefed up patrols with officers dedicated to dealing with wrong-way and drunk drivers, including helicopters over the county’s major highways.

The county also will put out a warning on radio stations and has put up signs along the highways to get the word out — measures all welcomed by Cassar, who is working to introduce tougher state laws.

“We don’t other families to live through the pain and sorrow we have to,” said Christopher Cassar, John Rey’s son.

Unfortunately, several young children face this Christmas season without their fathers.

Everyone agrees, wrong-way drunk driving needs to be stopped. The more immediate goal on Long Island is just to make it through the holidays without anyone else dying.

Suffolk County police also plan to set up DWI checkpoints at busy intersections, highway ramps and shopping centers across the county through the New Year.

  • Xalo

    These wrong way drivers should be castrated and put in prison for the rest of their lives. And make them work for their own food in the prison. Why should we even pay for their upkeep in the prison? Better yet, put them on the fast track to the electric chair.

  • Tom

    Wait? They’re going to START cracking down? What exactly were they doing before – waving and giggling at the wrong way drunks? Stupidity is creating another law to enforce the law that is already in place.

  • bevbux

    The problem is not wrong way driving–it is driving drunk. Put your patrols outside bars, and continue to impound cars of those arrested.

    If Albany is seriously concerned, and not just posturing, they should impound the cars of first offenders as well as second.

    Spikes won’t work because emergency vehicles need to access the roads backwards when normal access is blocked.

  • tom

    Enforcing the laws of the state will be a really really good start at reducing DWI Drivers from our highways, and not plea bargaining out .

  • jillian clark

    I don’t know why they can’t put those spikes … like they have at car rental lots … go the wrong way over them and your tires pop. Seems logical to me.

  • ISS

    What happened to-Don’t Drink and Drive…That tragic accident could have been avoided!

  • tp

    Reminds me of a PSA when I was a kid…

    Don’t enter the highway on the off ramp
    on the off ramp
    on the off ramp
    on the off ramp or you will be killed….

  • Steve M.

    “public service announcements”?!! Lemme’ guess…”please don’t drive the wrong way on the highway; it’s really really bad for you and other people”……Yep, we’ve officially turned into a nation of idiots. I hear putting a plastic bag over your head is good for you. Is that true?

  • DanTe

    How about just executing these T ARDs before they kill somebody? They’re a murder waiting to happen.

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