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State Police plan Super Bowl crackdown on impaired driving


State police will increase their effort to combat impaired and distracted driving this weekend in a statewide STOP-DWI and Texting-While-Driving crackdown.

The Super Bowl is being played Sunday in northern New Jersey, but much of the activity surrounding the event will be held in New York, leading Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to announce the effort.

“As a co-host of Super Bowl XLVIII, New York is committed to ensuring that this is both a fun and safe experience for all fans and drivers,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.

State police will be working with local authorities to enact sobriety checkpoints, and crack down on underage drinking, sales to minors and using hand-held devices while driving.

“It is important to partner with our local law enforcement partners to save lives and keep drunk drivers off of our roads,” state police superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said.

A Watertown city police sergeant said he was unaware of any additional efforts by city police this weekend.

This boost in enforcement comes at the heels of two proposals by Gov. Cuomo to increase the penalties for those found guilty of impaired driving. The first is a proposed law that will suspend a person’s driver’s license for five years after two DWI or DWAI convictions in a three-year period and a full revocation for those with three convictions in their lifetime.

The second proposed law would increase the time of license suspension for a person under age 21 convicted of texting while driving from six months to one year.

In the release, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged those travelling for the game to designate a sober driver, stay the night or call a cab, friend or family member for a ride home. For those hosting a party, the NHTSA advised making sure guests have a designated sober driver or have arranged alternate travel, and serving food and non-alcoholic beverages. For those serving alcohol, the agency recommends that hosts stop serving at the end of the third quarter of the game.

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