Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart today announced that the Suffolk County Police Department is planning to increase patrols in an effort to deter individuals from driving under the influence during the upcoming holidays.
“We have seen far too many needless DWI tragedies that end lives, rip families apart, or result in debilitating injuries,” Bellone said. “Driving on our roads is a privilege, not a right. Anyone who make the irresponsible decision to drive while intoxicated will be held accountable.”
“While we encourage people to enjoy the holiday; we are again asking people to act responsibly,” Hart said. “Drinking and driving is a preventable crime. It is not a mistake—it is an irresponsible choice that can often have deadly consequences. We will target drivers under the influence to hold those accountable for their actions.”
The Suffolk County Police Department is planning ahead for the upcoming holiday with stepped up patrols to enforce the department’s zero tolerance policy regarding drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Suffolk County Police Department will utilize Stop DWI funding to add dedicated patrols to remove drunk drivers from our roadways. In addition to the deployment of DWI patrols, the department will also have traffic safety checkpoints. During last year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend, from Thanksgiving Eve through Monday morning, Suffolk County Police Officer’s arrested 35 people for either DWI or DWAI.
As part of the County’s efforts to prevent motorist from driving under the influence, the County Executive also announced a partnership with Lyft to provide discount codes to residents for a safe ride home. Lyft will be offering a $10 code, SUFFOLKCTY2019, that can be used twice by anyone in Suffolk between 12:00 AM on Wednesday, Nov. 26 to 12:00 AM on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Uber is also offering a promo code, SAFERIDENY19, for a free ride up to $10 starting at 9:00 PM Wednesday night and ending 3:00 AM Thursday morning.
“Thanksgiving week is a busy time for Long Islanders who are traveling to celebrate with their families and friends," Steve Taylor, Lyft’s New York and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director said. "Lyft is proud to provide an affordable and reliable transportation option that helps our riders reach the people and places that matter most.”
“There's never a reason to drink and drive, and we're thrilled to do our part to ensure that Long Islanders have access to an affordable and safe transportation option," Hayley Prim, Public Policy Manager at Uber said. "We thank County Executive Steve Bellone for his leadership in ensuring the Long Islanders are safe this holiday season, and we hope that residents will leave their keys at home and use Uber to get around safely.”
In addition to the department’s DWI patrols, officers will have an increased presence at shopping malls and centers, as well as downtown business districts where larger than normal crowds are expected for Black Friday.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, Bellone and Hart also reminded shoppers to be aware of their surroundings and to take necessary precautions. Do not leave personal items unattended while shopping, do not leave packages in plain sight in your vehicle and put valuables in the trunk. If shoppers are planning on using cash, make a withdrawal a few days before Black Friday as to not be targeted at an ATM the day of.
Shoppers should be aware of online scams while online shopping. Residents should stick with trustworthy companies and organizations, update their software, pick strong passwords, lock their portable devices, and should not shop from links sent to their email.