TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — New York State Police plan to crack down on drunk and drugged driving over the holiday week, with checkpoints and heightened enforcement efforts across the state.

The STOP-DWI Fourth of July campaign will run through July 5 and will target reckless and aggressive drivers, including drivers suspected of being intoxicated or seen using their phones behind the wheel.

In a media release, New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “Troopers will be out in force this holiday weekend and will be on the lookout for impaired, distracted and reckless motorists who put others in danger. Our message is simple. Don’t drink and drive! Help prevent senseless tragedies caused by impaired driving. Stay safe, and don’t make a fatal decision that costs your life or someone else’s.”

State troopers issued about 10,500 tickets over the holiday last year and made 216 DWI arrests. DWI convictions carry penalties including jail time and fines, as well as loss of license. According to state police, the average DWI arrest costs the accused about $10,000, due to court and attorney fees, car towing, and lost time at work.

The Fourth of July and New Years Day are the deadliest days on American roads, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Over a five-year period, IIHS found that 47% of fatal July 4 crashes involved a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 g/dL, the legal limit for DWI in New York.

State police, along with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourage everyone heading out to barbecues and fireworks to plan ahead. They suggest choosing a designated sober driver before the fun begins, or making arrangements to get home via taxi or a ride sharing service.

The STOP-DWI app includes a tool to find local ride options and allows New Yorkers to report suspected intoxicated drivers.

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at dmagliozzi@ithacavoice.com or 607-391-0328.