Alcohol flows freely at many social gatherings during the holiday season, and the New York State Police launches an initiative each December to clamp down on drunk driving and other reckless behavior and keep road users safe. The law enforcement agency began its 2016 ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign on Dec. 16, and troopers across the Empire State will continue to keep a sharp eye out for intoxicated or otherwise dangerous drivers until Jan. 1, 2017.
Sobriety checkpoints usually play an important role when law enforcement agencies decide to step up their efforts to combat drunk driving, and a NYSP press release reveals that many such checkpoints will be set up during the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Police will also make their presence known by increasing the number of marked cruisers out on patrol, and unmarked vehicles will be deployed to fill any coverage gaps and snare motorists who use social media tools like Waze to avoid checkpoints and marked cars.
During the 2015 campaign, the NYSP charged 477 motorists with DWI and handed out approximately 11,000 speeding tickets. Motorists were also commonly cited for violating seat belt laws and not moving over for emergency vehicles. Those who wish to imbibe over the holidays without running the risk of spending a night in jail are encouraged by the NYSP to select a designated driver or take public transportation.
While roadside sobriety checkpoints may have passed constitutional muster, experienced criminal defense attorneys may still sometimes question the validity of DWI charges filed by the officers who work them. Portable breath testing equipment can be unreliable, and the readings these devices provide could also be misleading if the individual being tested suffers from certain medical conditions.
Source: The N.Y. Times, “Traffic App Draws Complaints From Sheriffs”, Associated Press, Jan. 28, 2015