Launches “Think Before You Drink” Awareness Campaign
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale announced today that the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) will allocate additional police officers to conduct an extensive DWI enforcement initiative this Memorial Day weekend. County Executive Mangano also launched his “Think Before You Drink” Awareness Campaign by placing the County’s “Choose Your Ride –Don’t Drink and Drive Car” at the corner of Sunrise Highway and Newbridge Road in Bellmore thanks to the Long Island Power Authority. The car, which is half police car and half taxi cab, gives motorists a visible choice, either go home by taxi cab or be arrested and driven to jail by one of Nassau County’s Police Officers after being arrested for DWI.
This effective “STOP DWI” initiative, funded by DWI fines collected in Nassau County, allows the County to implement a saturation enforcement strategy that has proven very successful in years past. The NCPD’s Highway Patrol Bureau coordinates and plans this initiative to target certain areas throughout the county. During the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend in 2011, there were 65 DWI arrests made countywide.
“It has been no secret that Nassau County is tough on drunk drivers,” said County Executive Mangano. “No one is safe when there are drunk drivers on our roads. Last year there were 32 fatalities as a result of DWI. That’s 32 families destroyed needlessly. Had the drunk drivers involved in these fatalities been responsible in their decision making process, these 32 individuals would be here today with their families.”
“Our message is clear: if you drink and drive here in Nassau County you will be arrested and prosecuted.To date there have been more than 1,193 DWI arrests this year and a total of 3,188 DWI arrests last year. I urge everyone to be responsible and to plan accordingly not just this holiday weekend but always so that you and others return home safely to their loved ones,” said Police Commissioner Dale.
“Now that the warm weather is finally here, many families and friends will gather for a variety of celebrations,” said County Executive Mangano. “We want everyone to make smart and responsible decisions not to drink and drive. Our vehicle demonstrates that you have two choices a cab home or a ride in one of our patrol vehicles where you will be booked, processed and prosecuted.”
In attendance supporting Nassau’s efforts were recently elected Syosset School Board member Joshua Lafazan who is also the founder and CEO of Safe Ride Syosset; Robert Sinclair, Jr. of A.A.A., Tom McCoy from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Marge Lee of DEDICATEDD, Larry Blessinger, owner of All Island Transportation and Christopher Mistron, STOP DWI Coordinator.