New York drivers know that the State has some of the toughest DWI laws on the books compared to other states. New York takes DWI enforcement very seriously, with state and local law enforcement officials working together to prevent drunken driving incidents, especially by increasing DWI patrols and checkpoints. One such police effort on Long Island was shuttered in 2011, but is now being reinstated by Nassau County. The County’s Selective Enforcement Team, or SET, specifically focused on drunk driving offenders. During the SET’s previous tenure from 2008 to 2011, the patrol made an average of over 2,600 DWI arrests. Since the SET was ended in 2011, DWI arrests have declined in Nassau County.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice and County Executive Edward Mangano have reinstated the SET, joined it with a DWI program, and re-branded the entire effort as the DWI Alcohol-Related Incident Team. In addition to setting up DWI checkpoints, this police team will actively patrol areas where DWIs are more likely to occur. Local advocates are praising the team reinstatement, and lauding the county for stepping up DWI prevention and arrest efforts. However, not everyone sees the need to  revitalizethe SET. Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter believes the SET is now unnecessary to the area’s anti-DWI efforts. Krumpter pointed to low arrest numbers from recent DWI checkpoints as evidence that drunk driving is decreasing in Nassau County. DWI-related accidents and fatalities decreased after SET was closed in 2011.

Despite decreasing incidents and some protestations, Mangano and Rice have formulated specific efforts to strengthen the new and improved DWI Alcohol-Related Incident Team. Officers will receive DWI-specific training and have access to more breath test devices, used to determine a driver’s impairment level at the time of arrest. Mangano has said of the program, “Nassau County’s new DWI Alcohol-Related Incident Team, together with the re-established Selective Enforcement Team, will be targeting drunk drivers . . . looking to prevent senseless alcohol-related accidents and locking up those who break the law.”

New York drivers who operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of at least 0.08% will be charged with DWI. Upon conviction, even first time offenders face steep fines, license revocation, jail time, and other penalties. As police efforts are stepped up, particularly around the summer and major holidays, drivers are more likely to be stopped for DWI. Nassau is not the only area in the State to increase its DWI patrol; other counties and cities have doubled down on their efforts to arrest drunk drivers.

Were you recently charged with driving while intoxicated? Did you refuse a chemical test at the time of your arrest? Are you facing any other alcohol-related driving offense? If so, contact our dedicated lawyers now for a free case evaluation. Our highly-trained, experienced New York DWI lawyers aggressively defend drivers against such charges. We have helped thousands of drivers through their DWI cases, and can help you, too. Contact us now online or by calling 1-877-435-7394.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.