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Safe and Sober

August 23, 2005

Westchester County police will be in full force along with state troopers and local police officers Aug. 26 through Sept. 11, part of the “Safe and Sober Campaign,” a national effort funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

County Executive Andy Spano said that hundreds of additional police hours will be devoted to patrolling Westchester roadways and establishing sobriety checkpoints to remove those drivers who are intoxicated or impaired while driving a vehicle.

“Those who get behind the wheel of their vehicle drunk or impaired by drugs better beware: the county and local police departments are out to stop you, “ Spano said.

In addition to increased manpower and enforcement of DWI laws, these additional patrols will enforce seatbelt, cell phone, speeding and other aggressive driving laws.

“One of the biggest challenges is getting more teens and more young adult males to buckle up,” Spano said. “These groups are the least likely to buckle up and are at greatest risk of dying in a crash.”

The Safe and Sober campaign includes:

  • Additional police patrols
  • Additional sobriety check points throughout the period

The county’s STOP-DWI office provides funding to local police departments for DWI/DWAI enforcement, as does the Governors Traffic Safety Committee.

“Last year this department increased DWI arrests by 22 percent over the previous year,” said Thomas Belfiore, commissioner of Public Safety. “This year we are on track for another significant increase in DWI arrests.”

Thomas Meier, director of the county’s STOP-DWI program, said, “The increase in arrests is due to two things: More people are drinking and driving and police departments throughout Westchester have stepped up their enforcement of these laws.“

Labor Day weekend is the busiest driving weekend in the country, with millions of drivers on the roads.


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