The evidence shows that New York State’s STOP-DWI efforts reduce the number of alcohol and drug related fatalities. STOP-DWI stands for “Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Impaired.  The program was designed to lessen the fatalities and prevent drunk and impaired driving as a public priority. During the major holidays, Nassau and Suffolk counties STOP-DWI program goes into “crackdown” mode, which means the police efforts to identify and stop drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs.  Highway patrol is increased and DWI checkpoints may be conducted.   

            The STOP-DWI Crackdown for Labor Day 2020 began on August 19, 2020 and continues through September 7, 2020. This year, STOP-DWI is encouraging Long Islanders to “have a plan” for transportation to and from the Labor Day festivities. There is an app when you can make your plan and http://www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp where you can find rides in real-time.

Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest holidays to travel. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is predicted that New Yorkers will be waiting to the last minute to make plans, thus creating an influx of traffic. An increase in vehicle on the road may increase the number of crashes. Be safe this holiday weekend. Here are some tips for staying safe:

            Rideshares, such as Uber and Lyft, have apps that make arranging transportation easily accessible and convenient. If you do not already have an app on your phone where you can conveniently arrange a ride, download it now. Having the app on your phone makes you more likely to utilize it.  Also, there is always the old-fashioned method of designating a sober driver.

Parents: Young adults and newer drivers are less likely to be prepared in newer situations. If you’re able, offer to drive your children and pick them up. If there is even the slightest chance your child may consume alcohol, or drive in a vehicle with someone who consumed alcohol, it is best to ensure they have arranged a reliable ride home.

Driver’s Under 21: There is absolute zero tolerance for drinking and driving under the age of 21 years old.  If you solicit the attention of law enforcement will be arrested and face serious consequences, such as license revocations, mandatory interlock instillation, fees, and potentially jail time.  If you consumed any alcohol or drugs, or are too drowsy to operate your vehicle safely, use and Uber/Lyft, taxi, parent, sober driver; do not drive. Equally important is not to ride in a vehicle with a driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Legal issues are inconsequential compared to injuries and death. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend but be safe.

            Bring a Mask: Be sure to take a mask with you during Labor Day festivities; if you end up calling an Uber/Lyft you will need to wear a mask as a passenger. Prevent the situation where you cannot arrange a ride because you do not have a mask.  In the event you do forget your mask, do not instead choose to drink and drive. Instead, find a mask- ask someone around you if they have an extra. Chances are the Uber/Lyft driver may have masks for people who forget.

            The Law Offices of Jennifer G. Tocci, P.C., wishes you all a happy Labor Day Weekend 2020. Please drink responsibly and make a plan for travel.

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