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Nassau County Police Bringing Back DWI Unit

Nassau Police vehicle. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Nassau Police vehicle. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Nassau County is bringing back a specialized police unit that targets DWI offenders as part of a new aggressive initiative to stop drinking and driving.

The Selective Enforcement Team (SET) is coming back after driving while intoxicated arrests dropped sharply after it was eliminated.

SET made an average of 2,641 DWI arrests between 2008 and 2011, according to Newsday. The arrests steadily declined from about 1,800 in 2012 to 1,500 last year, after the unit was disbanded three years ago.

The reconstituted SET team and DWI program will continue the strategy of finding DWI “hot spots,” officials said.

The unit also will establish roving DWI checkpoints.

“We’re adding 3,000 patrols, it’ll end up being over 20,000 hours of patrol will be added to preventing drunk drivers from getting on the road,” said Nassau’s acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.

The $1 million cost of the new initiative is coming from forfeiture funds and won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

“This is money from criminals, which has a delicious irony to it, and we’re putting it out on the road to stop people from drinking and driving,” said District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “To see one life lost to a drunk or drugged driver is one too many. This new initiative will save lives and help keep our roads safer as we approach the summer months.”

DWI fatalities fell from 25 in 2011 and 2012 to 24 last year. DWI crashes fell from 611 in 2011 to 600 in 2012.

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