While millions get ready to watch the Atlanta Falcons square off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI this weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state police are cautioning motorists that if “you drink, you drive, you lose.”
This week, Cuomo announced a statewide crackdown on impaired and reckless driving during the unofficial holiday weekend, including increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints locally to “deter, identify and arrest impaired drivers.”
The statewide campaign will be in effect beginning on Saturday, Feb. 4 and extending until 4 a.m. the following Monday.
"This Super Bowl weekend, I urge all New Yorkers to keep their celebrations off the road and make responsible choices to avoid needless tragedies,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for reckless and impaired driving, and our troopers and local law enforcement agencies will be out in force to keep our roadways safe.”
According to state police, STOP-DWI efforts have led to “significant reductions in the number of drinking and driving fatalities.” During the 2016 campaign, police arrested 92 people for impaired driving and issued more than 4,500 total tickets. Crackdowns by local law enforcement agencies resulted in an additional 103 DWI and DWAI arrests, nine DWAI drug-only arrests, and nearly 1,500 more tickets.
“Unlike the Super Bowl, there are no winners when someone makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired. If you are going to be drinking, have a game plan to get home safely,” State Police Superintendent George Beach II added. “Safety is our top priority and we will be looking for dangerous and impaired drivers to prevent them from causing senseless tragedies. If you’re celebrating, do your part and celebrate responsibly. Don’t drive impaired.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 10,265 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes. Acting DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan noted that much like the teams on the field, those looking to celebrate during the Super Bowl should have a proper game plan.
“The Super Bowl is a great American tradition. We want all New Yorkers to be able to enjoy good football with their friends and family, and not have their weekend marred by a senseless tragedy caused by a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol,” she said. “If you’re going out to see the big game and plan on drinking, please leave the keys at home or better yet, come up with your own transportation game plan through our ‘Have a Plan’ mobile app.”