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Risk of receiving DWI increases as 4th of July approaches

Next week marks the start of July and you know what that means: Fourth of July is just around the corner. But you know what else could be just around the corner? A law enforcement officer on the lookout for people driving under the influence.

As so many of our Suffolk County readers know, holidays like the Fourth of July not only bring festivities but the increased presence of police across the state. This could prove problematic for drivers on the East End, especially if a driver makes the mistake of driving while under the influence.

According to an article in Newsday, officers from 17 agencies are taking part in the East End DWI Task Force that will target drunk driving and drunken boating throughout the summer. Included among these will be police from Suffolk County who will participate in “saturation patrols” and sobriety checkpoints.

It’s important to point out that deputies who are part of the task force are authorized to cross jurisdictional boundaries to patrol towns across the two forks of Long Island.

Because drunk-driving laws can vary from state to state, it will be important for local residents to advise their out-of-town guests about our state’s DWI laws. This is especially true for boat operation. Some out-of-town guests may not know that it is unlawful to operate a boat while intoxicated, which could lead to serious penalties.

It will also be worth noting to out-of-state guests that New York’s implied consent laws make it unlawful to refuse a breath test. Because each state handles breath-test refusals a little differently and because the consequences can be diverse as well, an out-of-state-driver could be caught off guard by the penalties they face. They may not even be aware of the rights they have, because of the disparity of DWI laws between states.

Newsday, “East End DWI Task Force continues targeting drunken drivers, boaters,” Will James, June 17, 2014