For many people in New York, Labor Day means a three-day weekend and the unofficial end to summer. However, Rockland County police, along with the New York State Police, are implementing a crackdown known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” that will last through September 7. This campaign is a nationwide campaign aimed at reducing drunk driving. Increased enforcement will be present on New York streets through Labor Day.
A 2014 report from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee indicated that the number of injuries caused by drunk driving were on the decline since 2009. However, approximately 30 percent of fatal accidents in the state involved alcohol use. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over 10,000 people across the nation lost their lives in a drunk driving accident in 2013.
Like elsewhere in the nation, the legal blood alcohol content limit in New York is set at 0.08 percent. However, the average BAC level for those arrested for drunk driving is over 0.14 percent. In addition, approximately 18 percent of automobile driver fatalities involved not alcohol, but other drugs, according to the NHTSA.
So although alcohol impaired driving is a serious issue, it is important to keep in mind that most people drink responsibly. Therefore, police officers should not be overzealous in attempting to apprehend drunk drivers. If a person’s BAC does not surpass the legal limit, that person should not be arrested. False drunk driving accusations can cost a person dearly, even if he or she is not ultimately convicted. Therefore, those who believe they have wrongly been charged with drunk driving may want to seek the legal advice they need to avoid a conviction.
Source: New City Patch, “State, Clarkstown Police Craskdown on Impaired Driving through Labor Day Weekend,” Lanning Taliaferro, Aug. 26, 2015