Many New Yorkers celebrated the Memorial Day weekend with picnics, parades and other special events. Alcohol was served at many of these events, and most people drink responsibly. However, New York police were cracking down on the Memorial Day weekend on those who they claim had gotten behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink.
In New York, police accused 187 people of drunk driving over the Memorial Day weekend. Police had set up sobriety checkpoints statewide, and over 5,500 vehicles were subject to such checkpoints. The dates the initiative took place spanned from May 22 to May 25. In addition, 726 motor vehicle crashes were investigated during that time, although it is not reported which of those accidents involved alcohol. Seven individuals lost their lives in those accidents and 192 suffered injuries. Last year’s Memorial Day weekend only saw 690 crashes.
In a sobriety checkpoints, police may designate an area where they will randomly and regularly stop motorists to see if the motorist is driving while intoxicated. Although it may seem counterintuitive in light of the fact that police usually need reasonable suspicion to detain a suspected drunk driver, sobriety checkpoints are legal in the state of New York.
While sobriety checkpoints are allowable under federal law, states still retain the right to decide if they will utilize them. While some states do not use sobriety checkpoints, New York is not one of them. Because of this, it is important for drivers in New York to understand the legalities behind sobriety checkpoints so that they are not wrongfully accused of drunk driving.
Source: ithacajournal.com, “NY police make 187 DWI arrests Memorial Day weekend,” Kelsey O’Connor, May 28, 2015