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NY State Police Targeting Drunk Driving During Holidays

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A field sobriety test on a driver during a DWI checkpoint. (file/credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A field sobriety test on a driver during a DWI checkpoint. (file/credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The New York State Police are joining a national crackdown on drunk driving during the holidays.

The goal of the initiative “Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest” is to maximize DWI enforcement efforts to prevent motorists from being injured or killed by an intoxicated or drug-impaired driver.

Data show the holiday season is a particularly deadly time because of the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

According to Department of Motor Vehicle statistics, last year there were 8,633 alcohol-related crashes in New York state reported by police that resulted in 358 deaths and over 6,000 injured.

To maximize enforcement, state police will be conducting DWI checkpoints, DWI saturation details and underage drinker enforcement details.

Police across the area are flooding the streets through New Year’s to crack down on drunk driving.

“Drive sober or get pulled over,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith on Tuesday.

He said the incidence of drunk driving increases during this spirited time of year.

“People are festive. They’re going to parties, they’re celebrating around New Year’s and the holidays and there’s a greater chance of people deciding ‘I’m going to get behind the wheel of a car while I’m under the influence,'” said Gramiccioni.

Local police departments in New Jersey have received grant money to step up DWI enforcement.

Gramiccioni said it’s not just about a ticket blitz, it’s about getting a would-be drunk driver to think twice.

“It’s not worth the risk. Don’t roll the dice, because we are going to be vigilant,” he said.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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