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Westchester County To Participate In STOP-DWI Thanksgiving Crackdown

Photo Credit: Flickr User Zanepaul

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Westchester County Department of Public Safety and other police agencies in Westchester are participating in a STOP-DWI enforcement campaign that will begin Wednesday, Nov. 26 and continue through the Thanksgiving weekend.

The STOP-DWI crackdown, which runs Nov. 26-30, will include roving patrols and sobriety checkpoints conducted by members of the county police, municipal police and New York State Police.

The county police will be increasing its enforcement of driving while intoxicated laws along the Bronx River, Cross County, Saw Mill and Hutchinson River parkways. In addition, the department will be conducting joint sobriety checkpoints with municipal police departments and the New York State Police on local roads in multiple communities around Westchester.

“Too many innocent lives have been lost in Westchester and beyond due to drivers who were impaired by drugs or alcohol,” County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. “This increased enforcement is just one element in the county’s ongoing efforts to take impaired drivers off the road and keep our people safe.”

Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth said people who are planning to consume alcohol should always have a designated driver, take a taxi or make other arrangements to avoid getting behind the wheel.

“The Westchester County Police and our law enforcement partners in the county make thousands of DWI arrests every year. There is zero tolerance in Westchester when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he said.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce drunk-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints also play a key role in raising awareness about the problem.

The county’s Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and STOP-DWI assists in coordinating joint law enforcement initiatives such as the current enforcement campaign.

“Sobriety checkpoints not only remain effective as a law enforcement tool, they are highly visible and effective in demonstrating to the public that enforcement is taking place,” said Vito Pinto, director of the county Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and STOP-DWI.

Pinto's office also conducts numerous programs for schools and community groups to educate the public about the dangers of impaired driving, the increased certainty of arrest and the serious penalties faced by drivers convicted of DWI.

Additional information is available at http://www.westchestergov.com .

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