As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) are collaborating tonight at an event in Coney Island utilizing their high visibility Vision Zero Street Teams to educate the public about the legal blood alcohol content limits for operating motor vehicles, and about upcoming focused Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) enforcement throughout the City.
The goal of this joint effort is to decrease deaths and injuries caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs by deterring drivers who are not sober from operating motor vehicles.
Tonight along the Coney Island Boardwalk from 7 PM to 10 PM and for the first time ever, the NYPD and NYCDOT Vision Zero Street Teams will jointly engage New Yorkers on the subject of DWI, raising awareness about next week’s enforcement focus. These Street Teams will reach out to thousands of New Yorkers at this location.
Per the NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan, “The NYPD will be working closely with DOT, our Vision Zero partner, to both educate and highlight the problem of DWI.”
“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.”
To provide participants a reference point for the legal blood alcohol limit to legally operate a motor vehicle, the NYPD will use portable Breathalyzers to provide free tests. Vision Zero Street Teams will hand out free single-fare Metrocards to provide a safe and legal way home to those who have already been drinking.
Next week, police officers will be patrolling with an added vigilance for drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. There will be a directed enforcement of hazardous traffic violations and more police officers on the street during hours which DWI tends to be more prevalent. As always, drivers arrested for DWI will be charged, and those arrested for DWI who refuse blood alcohol testing will have their licenses suspended.
The Vision Zero Street Teams will also be activated on DWI outreach tonight at the Staten Island Yankees game and later this month at Madison Square Garden.
About Vision Zero Street Teams:
NYPD and NYC DOT launched Vision Zero Street Teams, an innovative approach which closely integrates education with enforcement in 2014. Teams of NYPD and NCY DOT staff work together to identify corridors with significant crash history, along with the causes of those crashes. NYPD officers and NYC DOT community engagement staff then spend a week distributing tens of thousands of fliers to pedestrians and drivers with safety tips, addressing the most common causes of those serious crashes. The following week, NYPD focuses its enforcement resources on those traffic violations which cause serious crashes along that same corridor. These teams have been deployed throughout the City. These teams also conducted special extensive public outreach campaigns across the City, publicizing the new 25 MPH law and this new DWI operation.