Collaborating in Coney Island on Thursday, August 6, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) teamed up on the Boardwalk to bring awareness to the dangers of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in advance of a citywide DWI enforcement effort to take place the week of August 9.
As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative—a citywide plan implemented last year that includes increasing enforcement against speeding; developing borough-specific street safety plans; reducing the citywide speed limit from 30 to 25 mph; expanding neighborhood slow zones; and applying stiffer penalties for dangerous driving by taxi and livery drivers—the joint effort was a way for the NYPD and DOT to reach out to Brooklyn drivers and hopefully deter them from operating a car if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“The goal of this joint effort is to decrease deaths and injuries caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” the DOT said in its announcement of the educational effort, noting that this was the first time that, “The NYPD and NYCDOT Vision Zero Street Teams …jointly engage New Yorkers on the subject of DWI, raising awareness about [the current] enforcement focus.”
The DWI crackdown, according to the DOT, has police officers patrolling with an “added vigilance” for drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. There will also be more officers on the streets during hours when DWI tends to be more prevalent.
“Our message to New Yorkers is straightforward,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “If you choose not to drive while under the influence, you will save lives. If you choose to drive drunk, you will be caught.”
The amped-up education effort featured portable breathalyzers provided by the NYPD, a way for attendees to reference the legal blood alcohol limit to operate a motor vehicle, and free single-fare MetroCards handed out by the Vision Zero Street Teams to help provide a safe, legal way home for those who have already been drinking.
“The NYPD will be working closely with DOT, our Vision Zero partner, to both educate and highlight the problem of DWI,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan.