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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NYS Law Enforcement Announces Over the Limit Under Arrest Campaign

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the start of the “Impaired Driving National Enforcement Crackdown” running from August 19th through the end of Labor Day weekend. More than 10,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide will be participating in this crackdown to remove impaired drivers from the road before they can hurt themselves or others.

According to NHTSA, in 2009 alone, 10,839 people died in crashes throughout the US in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit. The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes was the 21-to-24 age group. Approximately one-third of all highway deaths are due to impaired driving and nearly half of those deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. For that reason, law enforcement agencies will have a heavy presence, conducting road blocks and sobriety checkpoints during the evening hours.

Nationwide the legal limit for drunk driving is .08 Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.). While that may be the legal limit to prove intoxication, a driver can still be arrested for DUI with a lower B.A.C. if, in the judgment of the arresting officer, their ability to drive safely is impaired.

Drivers who are arrested for DUI will go to jail!

In New York State, county sheriffs and the state police have announced a joint "Over the Limit Under Arrest" campaign during the upcoming Labor Day period.

In New York, a driver can be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI) with a B.A.C. of between .05 and .08. The penalties for a first time DWAI offense includes a fine of between $300 to $500, or 15 days in jail, or both. License suspension and revocation may also apply.

A DUI conviction (.08 B.A.C or higher) can result in penalties of a fine of $500-$1,000 or up to one year in prison, or both.

Anyone convicted of either of the above offenses will also have to pay a driver responsibility assessment of $250 per year for the next three years

A DWI arrest and conviction can cost up to $15,000 or more: fees include car towing, impoundment, bail, attorney fees, court costs, hearing and fees to regain and retain driver’s license, DWI fine, probation costs, fees for extended proof of insurance, plus insurance rate hikes.

Drivers who witness another driver who they believe to be driving impaired are encouraged to call 911 or their state highway patrol.

All available law enforcement officers will be on the roads during the Labor Day holiday period. They will also be taking part in "Operation Care" (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) issuing citations to speeders and drivers who aren't wearing a seatbelt.

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