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New York State Police announce holiday season DWI crackdown

New York motorists may wish to abstain from drinking during the holiday season if they hope to avoid getting into trouble with the law. The New York State Police kicked off its 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign on Dec. 16, and troopers will remain on high alert until the safety effort draws to a close on Jan. 1, 2017. In addition to drunk drivers, troopers will be clamping down on reckless behavior such as speeding and seat belt violations.

Alcohol often flows freely during office Christmas parties and other yuletide social gatherings, and police will use a combination of marked and unmarked vehicles to patrol the Empire State's highways and keep its road users safe. An NYSP press release also warned those who may be tempted to imbibe and drive that sobriety checkpoints will be set up in areas where drunk driving is common.

During the NYSP Christmas drunk driving crackdown in 2015, troopers issued more than 32,000 citations and made 477 DWI arrests. Records indicate that most of the drivers ticketed were pulled over for speeding. New Yorkers who wish to raise a glass during the holiday season are encouraged to think ahead and choose a designated driver or use public transportation to get home.

Those charged with drunk driving at roadside checkpoints are generally taken into custody after submitting to breath tests. While the portable equipment used by police officers is generally accurate, experienced criminal defense attorneys may still challenge the validity of this kind of evidence in certain situations. Breath tests could be unreliable when the individual concerned suffers from medical conditions such as diabetes or ketosis, and these devices may also be vulnerable to environmental factors such as chemical fumes or certain types of adhesive.

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