DWI Warning

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Nassau County Puts Drivers On Notice Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend

May 23, 2019 - 4:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Driving while impaired arrests are up in Nassau County and if you've been drinking, authorities say don't even think about getting behind the wheel.

The warning comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which begins what is called the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer."

"We want to send the message loud and clear: it's a criminal decision not a social faux pas," Nassau County prosecutor Maureen McCormick said. "The district attorney and I have met with countless families, heartbroken families, sometimes sorry is just not enough, in fact it's never enough, because this is a completely preventable event."

Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder stood in front of a severely smashed up pick-up truck that was used by a New Hyde Park man who was driving with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he hit a police officer last year. That officer, thankfully, survived.

"Our DWI arrests are up 18 percent and deaths on the road related to DWI is significantly lower," Ryder said. "You don't want to end up in a pair of handcuffs. Our highway guys will put them on you, they will arrest you, they will seize your car."

McCormick said marijuana use is also an issue.

"I smell weed everywhere since they started talking about legalization. This does not belong in your, behind the wheel of a car. I don't care how legal they decide to make it anywhere along the line," McCormick said.

If you're not in a condition to drive, call an Uber, a Lyft, a cab or a friend to pick you up.

"We ask you the public, if you see somebody intoxicated, don't let them get behind the wheel. Don't let them drive drunk because your life, their life or somebody else's life can be innocently taken," Ryder said. 

A person faces one year behind bars for their first DWI offense. A second violation could result in four years in prison.