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Drunk driving campaign to take place over Labor Day weekend

Labor Day weekend is almost here. It is a time when many in New York will relax, perhaps have a picnic or barbecue, and simply enjoy summer's 'last hurrah.' Alcohol is a part of many Labor Day festivities, and it is important to keep in mind that most people in the state will drink responsibly. However, that doesn't mean that police won't be on high alert for those they believe are driving while intoxicated.

For example, across the state, from August 18 to September 5, police will be carrying out what is known as the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Crackdowns like this usually take place during times of the year where more drunk drivers may be on the road. In addition to Labor Day, this includes holidays like Halloween, Christmas, New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day and the Fourth of July. Other unofficial 'holidays' such as Super Bowl Sunday also may see an increase in police on the lookout for drunk drivers.

In 2015, 41 counties in New York participated in the Labor Day "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Over 230 DWI and DWAI arrests occurred during this time, as did over 25 DWAI-drug only arrests. In New York, if a motorist has three or more drunk driving convictions over the past 15 years, he or she could be incarcerated for up to seven years and could also be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

New York residents should know, however, that they have rights if they are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Overzealous officers may perform illegal traffic stops or illegal searches and seizures. It is entirely possible that people could be wrongfully charged with drunk driving during this time. If so, they will want to consider having legal advocates by their side, so they can better understand the charges they face and what they can do to defend against them.

Source: Times Telegram, "Police to crackdown on drunk, impaired driving," Aug. 18, 2016

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