New York to crack down on unsafe driving during Super Bowl weekend

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday that the State Police and local law enforcement agencies statewide will crack down on impaired and reckless driving during Super Bowl weekend.

The STOP-DWI campaign will include underage drinking enforcement, along with increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify and arrest impaired drivers. The enforcement initiative, which runs from Friday through Sunday, is funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

“As we celebrate the Super Bowl with friends and family, State Police and local law enforcement are taking steps to protect New Yorkers from the dangers of impaired and reckless driving,” Hochul said in a statement.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the number of drinking and driving fatalities, too many lives are still being lost because of crashes caused by impaired drivers. During the 2023 Super Bowl campaign, State Police arrested 183 people for impaired driving and issued 11,865 total tickets. According to State Department of Motor Vehicles, statewide, 1,028 tickets were given out for alcohol- or drug-impaired driving, part of a total of 35,437 tickets issued.

“The New York State Police and our law enforcement partners remain steadfast in our commitment to keep drunk and drug impaired drivers off our roads,” State Police Acting Superintendent Steven James said in a statement. “Those celebrating the big game should do so safely by planning ahead and ensuring that only a sober driver gets behind the wheel. We have zero tolerance for those irresponsible drivers, whose poor decisions endanger the public. Troopers, deputies and officers will be out in force this weekend to keep the roadways safe for all.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2021, 13,384 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes. Drivers should remember that they are putting not only their lives, but the lives of others, in jeopardy when they choose to drink and drive. NHTSA reports that 37 people die each day in the United States in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. That’s one person every 39 minutes. State-specific data regarding alcohol-related vehicle crashes can be found here.

People hosting parties, state officials said, are the team captain and should designate a responsible driver now to help their guests get home safely.

– Ask all of your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them arrange ridesharing with sober drivers. If you don’t drink, offer to drive guests home.

– Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

– Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter–this is a good time to serve coffee and dessert.

– Sign up online for a ridesharing service or keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from any guests who are thinking of driving after drinking.

– The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to even report a suspected impaired driver.

– Remember, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash that night, you could be held liable.

– If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or guardian can be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.

“Everyone wins during Super Bowl weekend when we all make it home safe. Impaired driving is entirely preventable if you plan ahead,” Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said in a statement. “Get a designated driver, use public transportation or call a taxi or ride-share service, and help make this weekend memorable for the right reasons.”

“Proper planning and responsible decision making are critical to keeping our communities safe, and we’re stepping up our enforcement as part of that effort,” Hochul said.


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