NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Law enforcement agencies across the country this holiday weekend are beefing up patrols.
In the Tri-State Area, that means added roving patrols and sobriety checkpoints set up by local and state police.
Richard Simon with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said stepped-up efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road like those this weekend are the most effective way of fighting the problem.
WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports
“These officers aren’t so much looking for drunk drivers, they’re looking for illegal behaviors. And that’s speeding, tailgating, illegal and improper lane changes, especially on weekends like this. Many of these dangerous drivers happen to be impaired,” Simon told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane.
Simon said for many drivers, the cost of driving under the influence is enough of a deterrent.
“Fines are typically in the hundreds of dollars but it doesn’t end there. There are court costs, there are attorney’s fees, the cost of maybe having to take alternate means of transportation because you simply can’t drive for a period of time,” Simon told Murnane.
Simon said a DWI arrest in New York could cost the driver up to $8,000 between fines, legal fees, higher insurance rates and other factors.
In nearly a third of recent traffic deaths in the Tri-State Area, impaired driving was a factor, Simon told Murnane.
Meantime, Connecticut state police say they’ve responded to 175 accidents on state highways and charged 41 people with drunken driving so far this holiday weekend.
State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said one accident was fatal, and people were injured in 40 other crashes. 52-year-old Jeanne Krapf of Ashford died after her car was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 84 in Vernon early Saturday morning.
There are several state police DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints set up throughout the state by state police for this holiday weekend.
Troopers have cited more than 2,100 drivers for hazardous moving violations, more than 1,000 people for speeding and about 190 drivers for not wearing their seat belts over the holiday weekend.
The increased enforcement will continue through Monday night.
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