State Police warn of holiday DWI enforcement

If you've had a few drinks, don't even think about getting behind the wheel. That's the message from New York State Police.

Troopers are launching a state-wide awareness campaign this week called "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest." It kicks off this Thursday, December 16 and continues through January 1, 2011. The New York State Thruway Authority and State Police are teaming up to prevent intoxicated drivers putting other driver's lives at risk over the holiday season.

"Drivers should be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving," said Troop T Commander Major Robert Meyers. "The Thruway is one of the safest highways in the nation, and it is critical that motorists do not drink and drive to protect themselves and other Thruway users."

One third of the fatalities in New York State involved intoxicated drivers and pedestrians. Police say driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 is four times as likely to cause an accident than a sober driver.

In 2009, State Police issued 8,089 tickets and made 93 arrests on the Thruway for drunk driving. This year, State Police will conduct a roving saturation patrol and one fixed sobriety checkpoint on the Thruway from December 16-30. They'll set up another sobriety checkpoint during the New Year holiday period.