MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police are trying to make the roads and waterways safer for Long Islanders this Labor Day weekend.
Nassau County Police will be beefing up patrols targeting drunken drivers as part of the STOP-DWI Enforcement Initiative.
“We will be targeting drunk drivers and looking to prevent the kind of senseless alcohol-related accidents that often occur during a holiday weekend,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.
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People have a tendency to drink more during holiday weekends, police spokesman Ken Lack told WCBS 880, despite warnings from the department of increased patrols.
Lack is warning those who choose to drink and drive that they will be arrested.
“You will be handcuffed and processed,” he said. “It’s possible that you’re going to lose your license, you will spend a significant amount of money in a defense against this DWI, and there’s also the very real possibility that you’re going to be spending some long time in jail.”
Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Last year, Nassau County police arrested 54 people on DWI charges over the Labor Day weekend.
“We want everyone to enjoy this holiday weekend but also to make responsible and smart decisions during their celebrations,” said Mangano.
Officers in Suffolk County will also be stepping up patrols to crackdown on boating and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
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“Unfortunately lives have been lost this summer because people have chosen to operate a boat or drive a vehicle under the influence,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
For the first time in its history, the Suffolk County Police Department is establishing BWI checkpoints during the holiday weekend.
“It’s very difficult to police the waterways as you do the highways because it’s obviously a vast area,” Police Commissioner Edward Webber said. “We look for areas where a large number of boats come in and can be controlled very easily. We select a group of boats going through, stop and interview the individuals.”
The enforcement effort also includes sobriety checkpoints, DWI saturation patrols and an enhanced motorcycle enforcement initiative.
Three people were arrested for driving while intoxicated at a sobriety checkpoint in Huntington Station Friday between 12:45 a.m. and 3 a.m., police said.
New Jersey State Police said they are also putting 150 extra troopers on the roads for the holiday weekend to look for intoxicated and distracted drivers.
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